Food and Freedom Ride Coming to Lawrence!


50 Years after the original Freedom Rides, Road Trip Rallies Young Leaders for Real Food

LAWRENCE, KS-- On Sunday, August 7th, young leaders from across America joined civil rights leaders to launch a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. The twist --- the Food & Freedom Ride will expose food injustices from the 'hood to the heartland while sharing examples of alternatives emerging throughout the country.

Beginning at a pivotal point of the original Freedom Rides, Birmingham, Alabama, and ending at Detroit, Michigan- a beacon for the future of America's food- the ride pays tribute to 13 bold young leaders who challenged racial injustice through the 1961 Freedom Rides.

The Food and Freedom Ride is convened by Live Real, “a platform for young people across the US to shape a different food system through policy and practice.” According to the group’s website, Live Real “unites communities on the front lines of our broken food system—from farmworkers struggling for justice in the fields of Florida, to Detroit youth growing food in urban lots, and Indigenous families passing on their traditional knowledge in Arizona. We’re all hurt by our food system, and we’re all trying to do something about it.”

Right now, over 50 million Americans face food hardship, and today’s youth are the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents, in large part because of the food they eat. The Food & Freedom Riders are 13 young leaders striving to reverse these trends from the corner store to Capitol Hill. Individually, their work ranges from creating distribution channels to increase access to affordable, culturally relevant food, to creating better conditions for farmworkers and reclaiming food cultures. Collectively, their 12-day journey from Birmingham to Detroit will uncover stories of farmers, workers, and consumers across America and carry a message to legislators: Real Food is a Real Solution.

The Food and Freedom Ride will make a stop at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence on Friday August 12th. There will be a brown bag seminar where the riders will share stories from their journey, connecting lessons from the civil rights movement with the growing food movement of the 21st century. The event coincides with the final day of the “Freedom Riders“ photo exhibit currently on display at the Dole Institute.

“We’ve inherited a more just world, and many valuable lessons from the Civil Rights movement,” says Live Real Director, Anim Steel “We’re taking this journey in part to pay our respects to the fearless Freedom Riders who paved the way for a more just society. Without them, our journey wouldn’t be possible.”

Join Food & Freedom Riders in Lawrence for a participatory dialogue about food, agriculture, and federal policy. The brown bag seminar will include a brief overview of federal policy impacts on food and farming systems, and the people’s movement for real food solutions.

What: Brown Bag Lunch; Interactive Presentation and Discussion

Who: Food & Freedom Riders

When: Friday August 12th; 12 pm

Where: Dole Institute of Politics; University of Kansas; Lawrence, KS

Cost: Free and open to the public

Local Contact: Brett Ramey; (928) 310-8059;


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