My undergraduate thesis project for completion of my B.S. in Geography at the University of Louisville was awarded with Best Senior Thesis by the department, and an abbreviated version won the undergraduate division of the 2017 Anne Braden Social Justice Research Paper Awards. Abstract and document are below.
Current focus within the mainstream food movement ignores the inherent racialization of our food systems, and subsequently reinforces white privilege and perpetuates racial inequities. One such racial inequity is that people of color are concentrated in neighborhoods with limited food access – a socio-spatial issue that is rooted in structural racism. This study explores how the work of several food justice organizations – New Roots Inc., Louisville Grows, and the Louisville Food Cooperative – are modeling collective liberation through their approaches in combating these food access issues in Louisville, Kentucky. I conducted my research through semi-structured individual interviews with three leaders of these organizations. The resulting interviews reveal that while it is unclear as to whether these organizations explicitly practice anti-racism, their work reflects several core themes of collective liberation and model liberatory food systems.