Carceral Food Systems Summit March 31-April 1

Carceral Food Systems Summit: Bridging Food Justice and Prisoner Justice for Abolitionist Futures

Save the date! On March 31st and April 1st we’re hosting a gathering to bring together individuals and organizations working within food justice and prisoner justice contexts and spaces. We hope to connect, share and learn the various ways in which food systems and carceral systems interconnect, and how we can work collectively to imagine and construct abolitionist futures through food.

The Summit will take place in Ottawa, on unceded Algonquin Territory at the Social Innovation Workshop (95 Clegg St). Attendance is free, and open to all who are activity working in these areas, or those who are interested in learning more – activists, scholars, community practitioners, students etc.

Register here:


Friday March 31th 6-9PM:

Opening Keynote Session with Ivan Zinger, Nyki Kish and Kanav Kathuria

We’ll start things off with a presentation by Ivan Zinger – Correctional Investigator of Canada

Dr. Ivan Zinger received his degree in Common Law from the University of Ottawa in 1992, and completed his articles of clerkship at the Federal Court of Canada. In 1999, he obtained his Ph.D. at Carleton University (Ottawa) in Psychology of Criminal Conduct. He is an Adjunct Professor with the Law Department at Carleton University. Dr. Zinger joined the Public Service of Canada in 1996.  He held a variety of senior managerial, policy and research positions in public safety-related federal departments and agencies. In 2004, he joined his current employer, the Office of the Correctional Investigator (Federal Prison Ombudsman), and in 2009 he became the Executive Director and General Counsel. On January 1, 2017, Dr. Zinger was appointed as Correctional Investigator of Canada, and was reappreappointed on January 1st, 2023 for another 5 year term.

Over the years, Dr. Zinger has developed expertise in domestic and international human rights law in prison settings. His academic publications are significant and include articles on a variety of subjects, including prison oversight, ethics, dangerous offenders, correctional treatment, the diagnosis of psychopathy, conditional release, penal segregation and the impact of tough on crime measures on corrections. Dr. Zinger is the recipient of the 2014 APEX Partnership Award for “making communities safer by building strong and effective partnerships across the country and abroad, contributing to the development of more effective correctional practices in Canada.”  This prestigious award is one of six presented annually by the Association of Professional Executives in the Public Service of Canada (APEX).

Followed by a panel and discussion featuring:

Nyki Kish – Director of Advocacy and Systems Change at the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.

Nyki kish is an advocate working at the intersection of action and the academy. She is an MA Sociology Candidate at the University of Victoria,  community-engaged researcher at the University of British Columbia, and Director of Advocacy and Systems Change with the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. Nyki has a lengthy background working in grassroots non-profit initiatives, especially arts-based and food-justice initiatives which foster social and environmental sustainability. Holding many publications and often called upon as an expert of issues related to Canadian incarceration, her academic work draws on her epistemic privilege and focuses on the transformation of structural violence within Canadian institutions, toward care-based communities. 

Kanav Kathuria – Co-founder of the Maryland Food & Prison Abolition Project

Kanav Kathuria’s work lies in the intersection of prison abolition, public health, and food sovereignty. He is a 2019 Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellow and a co-founder of the Maryland Food and Prison Abolition Project, a Baltimore-based organization that interrogates food conditions in carceral facilities to explore the use of food as a tool for resistance.

Saturday April 1st 9AM-5PM

9AM: Doors Open

9:15AM: Welcome and Overview

9:45: Session #1: Opposing Ontario’s Prison Expansion with Escaping Tomorrow’s Cages

11:AM: Break

11:15: Session #2: Food in prison – experiences and advocacy with MOMS (Mothers Offering Mutual Support) and Ghassan Zahran

12:30: Lunch

1:30: Session #3: Reflections on Food Sovereignty in Theory and Practice with Leslie Touré Kapo and Amelie Néault

2:45: Break

3:00: Session #4: Campaigning against prisons with the Criminalization and Education Project (CPEP) and the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP)

4:15: Closing and next steps

Logistical Details

Getting here:
The Social Innovation Workshop (The Atelier) is located on the edge of Saint Paul University campus – 95 Clegg Street.

For those using public transportation, both the #5 and #55 stop at Main and Clegg St, or you can take the O-Train to Lees Station (it’s about a 15 minute walk).

For those driving, there is a paid parking lot at the other end of Saint Paul University campus (Main Street and Hazel), there is also free street parking (officially 3 hour max) on Main Street, Clegg St and adjacent side streets. The Atelier has one accessible parking spot beside the entrance.

There will be a free simple lunch available for participants on Saturday (meat, vegetarian and vegan options). We’ll also have coffee and snacks.

The Atelier has a “no bottled water” policy, so please bring a re-usable water bottle, or use one of the glasses provided.

The entrance has an automatic, barrier-free entrance, and there is a gender-neutral, accessible washroom in the space.

We’re asking folks to wear masks, to help make the space safer for everyone. We’ll have some on-hand at the entrance.

Please contact us ( if you have particular accessibility needs and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Logo designed by Paterson Hodgson

We greatly acknowledge financial support for this event from:

2 thoughts on “Carceral Food Systems Summit March 31-April 1

  1. Tara Hurford Reply

    Hope this finds you well. I am just wondering what the confirmed dates are since the page seems to speak about both March 31 and April 1 but lower March 24th and 25th.

    • carceral_food Post authorReply

      Hi Tara – thanks so much for catching this! The dates are March 31st and April 1st – I’ll correct that right away. Hope you can join us!

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