The Following Text via Food Dignity
The Food Dignity team is pleased and proud invite you to explore the:
- new Food Dignity website: www.fooddignity.org
- Food Dignity special issue (with open/public access) of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development: https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/issue/view/food-dignity-issue
From 2011 to 2018, five US community-based food justice organizations collaborated with academic partners on a research, action, and education project we called “Food Dignity: Action research on engaging food insecure communities and universities in building sustainable community food systems.”
We asked how communities work to build sustainability, equity, and food security through food system work. We also sought means of creating more equitable community-university partnerships. We learned about both by doing, and also by tapping the collective decades of expertise the five community-based organizations brought to the table. We had five funded years, with nearly $5 million from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI program (competitive grant no. 2011-68004-30074).
Explore our results, partners, and partnership on the website. Words from some of the 21 titles in this (277-page!) special issue include: Costs of Community-based Action Research, Follow the Money [to] Academic Supremacy, Visualizing Expertise, What Gardens Grow, Community-Designed Minigrant Programs, Social Movement Frames Used by Collaborators, Triple-Rigorous Storytelling, and five community essays on Entering into a Community-University Collaboration. This marks the official end of the Food Dignity project, though we will have a series of additional papers in this journal over the next few years and we will be adding new results, learning guides, and details about the work of communities remaking food systems to the website.
Over three dozen members of the co-investigation team have done this work. This included people from Blue Mountain Associates (Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming), Dig Deep Farms (Cherryland and /Ashland, California), East New York Farms! (Brooklyn, New York), Feeding Laramie Valley (Laramie/Albany County, Wyoming), Whole Community Project (Tompkins County/Ithaca, New York), University of Wyoming, Cornell University, Ithaca College, and University of California Davis.
As collaborators imprinted on a plaque they gifted to me at our last team meeting in January 2016, Food Dignity was a five-year action research project; food dignity is an aspiration for a lifetime.
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