On Thursday, April 24, nationally-acclaimed eco-chef Bryant Terry will be at Calvin College's Chapel sharing thoughts and recipes from his newly released book "Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed."
 
Terry, a food justice activist whose work is regularly featured in national media, including such places as The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Martha Stewart Show and Emeril Green is speaking as part of Wake Up Weekend, an annual grassroots celebration of animal-friendly advocacy, art, food, education, music, philosophy and religion in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Creating rich conversations

The weekend full of events runs April 24-26 and includes an art exhibit, cooking workshops and the popular vegan chili cook-off. Attendees will also hear perspectives on the ethical treatment of animals from a Catholic theologian, an eco-chef, an economist and executives from the Humane Society of the United States.

Calvin College philosophy professor Matt Halteman is one of the organizers of Wake Up Weekend. He says bringing together leaders who see these issues from different vantage points opens up new and rich conversations.
 
"That's what's exciting to us," said Halteman. "Offering this diverse array of free and open activities creates a unique environment in which presenters and participants alike are able to get outside their usual orbits into inspiring new contexts. At Wake Up Weekend, economists end up in art galleries, chefs mix it up with philosophers, and activists engage theologians, and the results of this unpredictable interdisciplinary dialogue are always edifying and fun."

Committing to work together 

And while the perspectives may be different, Halteman says attendees rally together around a common interest.
 
"Wake Up Weekend seeks to solicit the many but often hidden ways in which the exploitation of animals—an urgent moral issue in its own right—sustains other entrenched forms of oppression that we all stand against: global hunger, diseases of affluence, the exploitation of women, racial injustice and environmental degradation."
 
All Wake Up Weekend events are free and open to the public (excluding the optional vegan brunch on Saturday morning). Click here for a full schedule of events.

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