September 15 | 9:00am - 11:30am Central

A Contributing Dialogue to the Biden Administration’s Food Policy Agenda, the UN Food Systems Summit, and national discussions, hosted by University of Texas at Arlington and ICLEI.


This is a big year for food. Globally, the UN’s Food Systems Summit will bring together science, business, healthcare and academic communities with farmers, Indigenous people, youth, local governments, and others to accelerate the Decade of Action for the SDGs. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is leading much of this work with partners to ensure the voice of cities, towns and counties is represented. At the same time in the U.S., the Federal Administration is leading a series of dialogues, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This North Texas Local Food Dialogue on Inclusive Food Systems, hosted by University of Texas at Arlington and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is intended to be the regional moment for official contribution from cities and counties to the proceedings. We aim to collate interests, issues, and priorities of local governments — including on food sustainability, security and resilience — in order to submit the outcomes to both FAO at the global level and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) within the U.S.


The exchanges at the event aim:
To highlight the role that local governments and other organizations are playing in improving their urban food systems as well as identify key food systems challenges, opportunities and priorities

To generate discussions, action and commitments from local stakeholders on food systems reforms to achieve the SDGS and the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. These will feed into the UNFSS processes such as game changing solutions (“actionable messages”)

To connect these dialogues with the national UNFSS Member States Summit Dialogues and involve Ministries as well as other strategic stakeholders working with the cities (e.g. UN bodies, organizations with consolidated work track on food with respective cities).

To contribute as a UN Food Systems Summit Independent Summit Dialogue and connect this U.S. event with those happening nationally.

To achieve a lasting collaboration on urban food systems in support of the RCE North Texas and North Texas Food Policy Alliance (NTFPA).

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Teik Lim
President UT Arlington

Alison Blay-Palmer
UNESCO Chair in Food,
Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies

Panelists for Ensuring
Food Security, Resilience
and Equity in Cities

Susan Alvarez
Assistant Director, City of Dallas

Nicole Warhoftig-SEED
Manager, City of Plano

Brenda Patton
Program Manager, Policy Blue Zones Project
North Texas Healthy Communities

Tamara Cook
Senior Environment & Development Program Manager
North Central Texas Council Of Governments (NCTCOG)

Panelists for Regional
Food Systems Approaches

Owen Lynch
Founder, Restorative Farms

Valerie Stone Hawthorne
Director of Government Relations,
North Texas Food Bank

Anga Sanders
Founder & Creative Spirit at FEED Oak Cliff
& The Dallas VegFest

Jenny Eyer
Vice President, Health Strategies
American Heart Association


Sarah Luxton
Sustainability and Environmental
Education Supervisor
City of Plano

Kale Roberts
Senior Program Officer

Stephanie Byrd
Marketing Director
Schneider Electric

Sandy Bauman
Sustainability Coordinator
UNT Health Science Center


9:05 am      Welcome - Dr. Teik Lim, President UT Arlington
9:15 am       Global Food in Context: The UN Food Systems Summit and beyond
9:20 am      Opening Remarks - Alison Blay-Palmer, UNESCO Chair
9:30 am      Panel 1: Ensuring Food Security, Resilience and Equity in Cities
9:55 am       Breakout Discussions 1
10:20 am     Panel 2: Regional Food Systems Approaches
10:45 am     Breakout Discussions 2
11:10 am      Concluding Remarks