Food justice scholarship and activism have evolved alongside each other, even intertwining in some cases over the past decade. At times there are clear distinctions between ‘scholarly’ and ‘activist’ doings in this realm; however, often individuals, groups and their actions take on characteristics of both. Recognizing and building upon these dynamics is important in strengthening the effectiveness of food justice work. These topics are of direct and historical relevance to the field of geography, both in theory and in practice.
Our name, “Food Justice Scholar-Activists/Activist-Scholars Community of Practice,” reflects our commitment to breaking down dichotomies that we feel reinforce power imbalances with respect to “activist” and “expert.”
(SEE REYNOLDS ET AL. 2018* FOR A DISCUSSION)
Since 2014, a small-but-growing group of individuals interested in the intersections between food justice scholarship and activism have met at the annual American Association of Geographers (AAG) meetings to begin to create FJSAAS as a community of practice.
The AAG sessions have been sponsored each year by the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group and at times by additional AAG specialty groups.
Our specific goals are:
- Sharing learning based on experiences connecting food justice activism and scholarship;
- Creating pathways for on-the-ground activists and scholar-activists to collaborate to improve conditions in the food system;
- Critically examining and questioning the role of academics in defining reality through writing and other scholarly activities;
- Building upon existing theoretical work on the intersections between theory and practice in geography and additional fields, including in feminist, (post) Marxist, critical race, Indigenous, environmental justice, and social movement scholarship, as we move forward with evolving food justice work.
Watch the panel discussion from our session with Blackademics and Peoples’ Knowledge “Exploring Synergies in the Work”, part of AAG’s 2020 virtual conference
Collaborations with community-based groups. In 2020, FJSAAS members worked to produce a literature review about sustainable agriculture and food security for Soul Fire Farm
Click here for Soul Fire Farm website
Read our special journal issue in ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 2018 (volume 14, number 4). Articles are free for anyone to download here
- We hold regular video/conference calls through which we continue to build our work together. The meetings are open to all, including community-based activists, independent scholars, academics, and professional geographers.
- We meet (now virtually or in person) at AAG meetings each year. Information for the next conference will be updated in early 2021.
Kristin Reynolds, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, New York, NY; Lecturer, The New School; Lecturer, Yale School of the Environment; and Board Member, AAG Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
|Dr. Daniel Block||Chicago State University, Professor of Geography|
|Jessica Gilbert||University at Buffalo, PhD Candidate; Partnership for the Public Good; Research Associate|
|Sahil Patni||Strategic Finance Analyst, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)|
|Dr. Carrie Freshour||University of Washington, Assistant professor|
|Dr. Kristin Reynolds||Independent scholar; Part-Time Assistant Professor, The New School; Lecturer, Yale School of the Environment|
|Brittany Jones||University of Toledo, PhD Candidate, Research Assistant (Urban Affairs Center)|
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about FJSAAS or how to join our listserv or next meeting.
*Reynolds, Kristin, Daniel Block, and Bradley`Katharine. 2018. “Food Justice Scholar-Activism and Activist-Scholarship”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 17 (4), 988-98. https://www.acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1735.