Homestead

Maine Law to welcome global leader in fight to end hunger and food insecurity

Posted Jan. 27, 2016, at 11:34 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, a global leader in the sustainable farming movement and the fight to end hunger and food insecurity, will visit Maine in March for the fifth annual Justice for Women Lecture, presented by the University of Maine School of Law.

 Sibanda is an acclaimed scientist, farmer, and activist. She will spend a week in Maine, speaking with a wide range of students and groups about the barriers people face in accessing affordable, nutritious food, and solutions to those problems.

Sibanda will deliver the Justice for Women Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Abromson Community Education Center in Portland. The public can register for this free event at www.mainelawcommunity.org/2016jfw.

“This topic could not be more timely. Hunger and food insecurity are on the rise here in Maine, as they are in too many places around the world,” said Danielle Conway, Dean at Maine Law. “Dr. Sibanda is an incredible resource to discuss problems and solutions, and hopefully to inspire action both here and abroad. We’re honored to be her host as she engages Mainers in these crucial conversations.”

Women with children are disproportionately vulnerable to food insecurity, which is defined as the lack of access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition. Maine has a higher rate of food insecurity than any other state in New England, and the problem has been worsening in recent years, according to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Sibanda has been CEO and head of mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) since 2004. In that role, she coordinates policy research and advocacy programs across 17 countries in Africa, focused on food security, climate change, and advances in agriculture. Sibanda is a leading voice in the “Farming First” global campaign to promote sustainable agricultural development.

The Justice for Women Lecture Series brings speakers to Maine each year to discuss their work and strategies to promote justice for women and girls. Maine Law established the series in 2011 with leadership and support from attorney and civic leader Catherine Lee of Lee International. The series is supported in part by the generosity of community partners, including CIEE, and other donors.

Previous JFW lecturers were the Hon. Unity Dow (2012), the first woman to serve as a judge on Botswana’s High Court; Leymah Gbowee (2013), a women’s rights advocate who won a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end civil war in Liberia; Dr. Sima Samar (2014), chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and founder of the Shuhada Organization; and Ruchira Gupta (2015) of India, a global leader in the fight against sex trafficking, and the founder and president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide. The Hon. Albie Sachs of South Africa also participated as a special lecturer in 2013.

The Justice for Women Lecture Fund, an endowed fund, was created with the goal of sustaining the JFW Lecture Series in perpetuity. As of this winter, founder Catherine Lee, Honorary Chair Maddy Corson, and others have raised more than $235,000 of the $475,000 fundraising goal. Learn more atwww.justiceforwomenme.org. To support the lecture series, visit www.mainelawcommunity.org/donatejusticeforwomen.

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