Renowned chef, food activist Bryant Terry to deliver keynote address at 40th Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

Bryant Terry is a James Beard Award-winning chef and author of several critically acclaimed cookbooks.

Acclaimed chef, author, and food justice advocate Bryant Terry will deliver the keynote address at UC Santa Cruz’s 40th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m. It will also be livestreamed.

Terry, a James Beard Award–winning chef and author of several critically acclaimed cookbooks, is widely recognized for his groundbreaking work at the intersection of food, culture, and social justice. His commitment to promoting healthy, sustainable, and culturally relevant food practices aligns seamlessly with the principles and values championed by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his interactive talk, “Food Justice: At the Intersection of Food, Politics, Poverty, Public Health, and the Environment," Terry will show how the food we eat can reduce the impacts of poverty and structural racism while increasing sustainability for all. Through a multisensory approach that fuses song, cooking, and personal history, Terry will explore how to improve access to fresh food in our communities and demonstrate how simple (and delicious) making better food choices can be.

Now in its 40th year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation at UC Santa Cruz has been a longstanding tradition, bringing together students, faculty, staff, and community members to celebrate the ideals of justice, equality, and community service. Past speakers have included Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, and activist; Alicia Garza, co-creator of the viral hashtag and movement, #BlackLivesMatter; and Benjamin Jealous, civil and human rights leader and former NAACP president. 

About Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a multidisciplinary artist, publisher, and author. He draws inspiration from his ancestors, motivating us to strive for a more healthful, just, and sustainable world.

San Francisco Magazine included Terry among 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene, and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food. From 2015 to 2022, Terry served as the inaugural Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. In this role, he curated public programming at the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, and culture.

As the founder and editor-in-chief of 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and Penguin Random House, Terry collaborates with visionary chefs, writers, artists, activists, and innovators of color to create visually stunning nonfiction books. Additionally, he is the co-principal and innovation director of Zenmi, a values-driven creative studio that he established.

Terry's accomplishments extend to his career as an author, where he has written six highly acclaimed books. He has received recognition for his exceptional work, including a James Beard Award, an NAACP Image Award, and an Art of Eating Prize. His latest book, titled Black Food, received widespread praise and was hailed as the most critically acclaimed American cookbook of 2021.