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.”


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.

Recent initiatives:

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

Join us:

  • 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.


Kristin Reynolds, Ph.D., Chair and Visiting Assistant Professor of Food Studies, The New School; Lecturer, Yale School of the Environment.

Steering committee:

Dr. Daniel BlockChicago State University, Professor of Geography
Dr. Jessica L. GilbertSUNY Geneseo, SUNY PRODiG Fellow and Visiting Scholar, Department of Geography and Sustainability Studies
Sahil PatniUnreasonable Group, Account Manager
Dr. Carrie FreshourUniversity of Washington, Assistant professor
Dr. Kristin ReynoldsThe New School, Chair and Visiting Assistant Professor, Food Studies; Yale School of the Environment, Lecturer
Dr. Brittany D. JonesUniversity of Toledo, Independent Scholar, Part-time Instructor

Email fjscholaractivists@gmail.com 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.