The Shift: Food

03/01 Monday | 5pm

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NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, Civic Signals, The Social Science Research Council, and The Knight Foundation invite you to a discussion on Food in the series on “The Shift,” featuring Qiana Mickie, Rebecca Webster, Andrew Deener and moderated by Kara Alexis Young. This fourth episode of the series will focus on how COVID-19 has accelerated and made more visible inequalities within the food industry, particularly in vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately affected. It will explore the dynamic relationships that elements such as socio-economic and cultural factors have with the food process from production to consumption, and what changes they have undergone since the onset of the pandemic. Panelists will offer their insights to suggest how the production, distribution, and consumption of food can be made more equitable and sustainable.

The conversation will be illustrated live by Rosa Colón Guerra.

Dr. Kara Alexis Young is a food systems and racial justice consultant based in Oakland California. She has a decade of experience writing, organizing, teaching, and public speaking on food disparities, racial justice, and qualitative research methods. She currently sits on the board of directors of Local Matters, and the advisory circle of Kindred: A Creative Accelerator for Artists of Color. She has also organized extensively with the Berkeley Food Institute on their racial equity initiatives and is the founder and chair of the Coalition for Food and Agricultural Sociology.

Qiana Mickie is a New York City based food systems leader and equity consultant that uses food as a driver of enterprise, innovation, and equity. For over 10 years, she has worked on fostering a food based solidarity economy in the New York region that increases farm viability, healthy food access, and leadership opportunities for small- mid scale regional farmers, youth, Black, Brown, mixed income, and other communities of color. Qiana is the former Executive Director of Just Food. During her tenure at Just Food, she advocated for equitable food/farm policy and trained community leaders to start and sustain CSAs, Farmers Markets, and also become Community Chefs. She is currently consulting on multiple small business, food enterprise, and grassroots policy projects such as Farm to School Institution (FINYS) and 9 to 5 Provisions. Qiana recently wrote the Solidarity, Not Charityarticle for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Foundation and will be expanding on the topic of how US food systems can shift from emergency response towards resilient models and racial equity in a chapter of an upcoming collaborative publication by the Foundation.

Rebecca M. Webster is an enrolled citizen of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth in their American Indian Studies Department. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in their Tribal Administration and Governance programs. Prior to joining the American Indian Studies team at Duluth, she served the Oneida Nation as an attorney for 13 years where she provided legal advice for the Nation’s administration on government relations, jurisdiction concerns, and a wide variety of tribal land issues. In addition to her academic interests, she grows heirloom traditional foods with her family on their 10 acre farmstead Ukwakhwa: Tsinu Niyukwayayʌthoslu (Our foods: Where we plant things) and with Ohe·láku (among the cornstalks), a co-op of Oneida families that grow Iroquois white corn together.

Andrew Deener is a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. His ethnographic and historical research focuses on urban inequality, culture, organizations, infrastructure, and the environment. He is the author of Venice: A Contested Bohemia in Los Angeles (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and more recently, The Problem with Feeding Cities: The Social Transformation of Infrastructure, Abundance, and Inequality in America (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

Rosa Colón Guerra has been self-publishing comics with her friend Carla Rodríguez for over ten years in San Juan, Puerto Rico as Soda Pop Comics. She’s been published in The Nib, The Believer, The Lily and the Eisner winner Puerto Rico Strong Anthology from Lion Forge as well as the Ignatz Winner Be Gay, Do Comics!


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