WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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Food, Culture, and Global Citizenship

By Eric Eliason | Published: September 22, 2020

My first encounter with a Concordia Language Villages program meal was memorable and wonderful. I was hungry at the end of a day, but I soon learned that feeding my body was only a small part of the value I would receive.  I got called on and had to respond in a new language—whether I was ready or not. Even six years later I remember that meal, those exchanges, as my introduction to the commitment and creativity that program staff bring to using food in their language and culture immersion.

That particular form of Village excellence is much on my mind as I anticipate this evening’s beginning of Concordia College’s fall symposium: Food for Good.  This annual event brings together a varied program of lectures and presentations designed to stimulate thoughtful and informed engagement with topics important in world affairs. Those who have imagined or cooked or experienced a great meal within a language community will find much to draw them in:

  • Award winning chef and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef  Kwame Onwuachi will open the symposium this evening at 7 pm, CDT.
  • At 10:30 Wednesday morning, James Beard Award nominee Andrea Baumgardner will present on “Creating Food, Creating Community.”
  • And at 1:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, Sharon M. Day, the Ojibwe executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, will present on “Indigenous Food.” 

All of these presentations are accessible, without cost or registration, by live stream here, at the times noted.

The full schedule can be found here.

One of the hard things about offering only virtual programs for youth this summer was the loss of meal times.  We can’t offer virtual food, but we can find innovative ways to continue the connection between food, education, and immersive learning.  I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of one or more of these sessions!

About the Author

Dr. Eric Eliason has worked with Concordia Language Villages since becoming Vice President for Academic Affairs at Concordia College in 2013.  He is currently serving as interim Executive Director.

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