March 19, 2012
Contact: University Relations
As a capstone to the Helen P. Denit Honors Program's "Thought for Food" series, the "Get FRESH! Documentary Screening and Fundraiser for Guatemala Student Service Experience," will take place on Tuesday, April 10 beginning at 5 p.m. in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. The event, including a screening of the acclaimed documentary FRESH, is an opportunity to meet and talk with the documentary's director and producer Ana Joanes, and a special dinner catered by the Dogwood Restaurant, will serve as a fundraiser for an important cause: In July, a group of UB Denit Honors students will travel to Guatemala to help improve the lives of indigenous Mayan community members. Each student will build an energy-efficient stove for a deserving family; the students' individual program fee will pay for all materials as well as the labor of a local mason who will help them build the stoves.
FRESH looks at the successes of the farmers, policymakers and consumers who are reinventing the nation's food system. Rather than bombard viewers with impersonal facts or apocalyptic policy analysis, the film encourages them to become involved in the transformation of their own ways of purchasing, growing and understanding their sources of food and nutrition. FRESH celebrates those who are taking sustainable steps toward reinventing the American food system, and support the world’s food innovators, activists and proponents in their own communities.
Joanes, a native of Portugal who was raised in Switzerland, is the founder of Reel Youth, Inc., a video production program for young people either coming out of detention or otherwise under-served. Her first documentary, Generation Meds, explored fears and misgivings about mental illness and medication. Joanes holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Barnard College, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Stone Scholar and Human Rights Fellow. FRESH, released in 2009, is her second documentary film.
The screening of FRESH will begin at 5 p.m. in the Lucy and Vernon Wright Theater in the Student Center. At 7 p.m., a reception and dinner will begin in the Bogomolny Room adjacent to the theater.
The Dogwood Restaurant will cater this event, using organic, locally grown food. A cash bar, giveaways, entertainment and a silent auction also will be part of the festivities.
Due to economic, political and cultural factors, most Mayan families in Guatemala use a wood fire in their homes for cooking. This method causes high levels of indoor air pollution; smoke in homes from open cooking is the fourth greatest risk factor for death and disease in the world's poorest countries.
This summer, during the country's cooler season, a group of UB students will help improve the lives of a few of these families by constructing properly-built permanent cook stoves. Using locally-procured building materials, the students will partner with local masons to construct a properly-vented cooking area.
All but 10 percent of the proceeds raised by the "Get FRESH!" event will be used to fund the students' individual $1,650 program fee, which includes travel expenses, construction materials and local labor costs. The remaining monies will support Global Vision International's Plan Ancianos program. Plan Ancianos is a sustainable community program that provides indigenous Mayan grandparents with a food parcel every three weeks to help prevent malnutrition and starvation. The goal is to raise enough money to feed at least two Mayan grandparents for an entire year. In Mayan culture, older people eat only after the younger family members are fed.
Tickets are $10 each for UB students and $25 for general admission.
R.S.V.P. for "Get FRESH!" here.
The Helen P. Denit Honors Program prepares University of Baltimore students for the 21st century by empowering them with the skills and habits of mind necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world. Denit Honors signature events enhance the academic experience with opportunities that cultivate leadership, personal and professional development and foster a commitment to civic engagement and cultural diversity. For more information, contact Kelly McPhee.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.