ENV 980a () / 2021-2022

Social Justice in the Global Food System Capstone

Credits: 3
Fall 2021: Th, 2:30-5:20, Sage 41c

This course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system, considering justice in terms of sociopolitical and environmental dynamics. We connect theory and practice through work with community-based organizations working at the nexus of food, agriculture, and social justice.
The capstone project work is grounded in food and social justice concepts examined through course materials and seminar discussions: We examine how governmental environmental strategies affect social equity in the food system at multiple scales. We discuss how land grabbing or food insecurity are connected to relative power on the global stage. We consider how phenomena such as structural violence and neoliberalization surface within the food system, and what this means for sustainability and justice – in urban and rural settings. We examine and debate concepts and practices including food sovereignty, agroecology, Black agrarianism, and The Right to Food used to advance positive change.
Through the capstone project, students will have the opportunity to deepen learning and contribute to the work of community groups forging pathways for equity and justice in the food system, particularly among communities historically marginalized from mainstream economies and policy making. Project work will include meetings with organizational leaders to understand context and co-develop appropriate project approaches. Students will work in groups to conduct in-depth research, analysis, and engage in additional professional and educational activities connected to the project. Student groups will prepare a final presentation and report to be shared with the partner organizations.
The course provides opportunities to develop competencies inanalyzing global food systems phenomena through social justice frameworks; and working within diverse settings on food and social justice issues, as practice for management, policymaking, other professional roles.