Food Justice: Who Gets to Define It?

Type: Panel
Theme: Public Engagement in Geography
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Grand Ballroom E, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Organizers: Daniel Block, Kristin Reynolds, Hank Herrera
Chairs: Daniel Block


Food justice is a hot topic, in activism and scholarship, expanding significantly over the past twenty years. The heightened public focus on, and evolving critical analysis of ‘unevenness’ in the food system - ranging from diet-related health disparities to modern-day slavery - that has evolved in tandem with these social and academic movements attest to their salience. Intellectual debate - both within academe and beyond its metaphorical confines - about what food justice means, has helped to advance knowledge about the contours of social justice in the food system. Still, even with this creation of new knowledge, many vulnerable communities still lack access to fresh, affordable, healthy food, produced and exchanged by the people who consume it – one of the fundamental focus points of ‘food justice’ activists in the US, and of international farmer-led movements for food sovereignty. Significantly uneven power dynamics remain. This fact gives pause to how we define food justice, and who “we,” the epistemological creators of this action-oriented movement of activists and scholars are. This panel discussion focuses on who gets to define "food justice." What roles do community-based activists who give their blood sweat and tears to the work, and those in primarily intellectual spaces play? Where are the middle grounds of collaboration in which community-based activists and academics can work together to define "food justice” and use the resources at hand to create a truly more equitable discursive space with end goals of both food sufficiency and changed power dynamics at multiple food systems scales?


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Daniel Block Chicago State University 15
Panelist Sanjay Kharod New Orleans Food & Farm Network 15
Panelist Jose Oliva Food Chain Workers Alliance 15
Panelist Kristin Reynolds Food. Scholarship. Justice. 15
Panelist Hank Herrera Center for Popular Research, Education & Policy 15

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