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George Gerbner Post-Doctoral Fellow Colloquium: Building a Local Food System and Caring Economy

February 14, 2014 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Citing intersecting concerns related to health, the environment and the economy, critics of the contemporary industrialized food system insist that we are in crisis. In response, a number of food justice activists have begun to develop community-based solutions to the nation’s food system problems. Grounded within historically marginalized, low-income communities of color, advocates for food justice argue that activities like urban agriculture, cultural nutrition education and food-related social enterprises can be an integral part of an agenda for systemic social change.

This presentation uses an ethnographic case study of the South Los Angeles-based Community Services Unlimited in order to explore the limitations and possibilities of community-based food justice organizing today. Based on my current book project, the research details the complexity that emerges when community-based groups must work to balance the interests of their often contradictory network partners over time. How is it that a food justice organization with its roots in the Southern California Black Panther Party, for instance, can now depend upon governmental funding from a bureaucratic establishment like the USDA? The work also considers how the recent introduction of new players into food-related activism has influenced the evolving practices of food justice work. Are community-based food justice groups equipped to effectively tell their story now that well-funded, media-savvy non-profits have entered into the competitive landscape?

Garrett Broad is the George Gerbner Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. His research considers the impacts of globalization, storytelling and communication technology in shaping contemporary communities and movements for social change. Much of his work focuses on issues related to urban community health, environmental sustainability and the industrial food system. Garrett received his PhD from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he worked for several years as a core research team member with the Metamorphosis Project.

Seating is limited. Please contact Debra Williams for more information.


February 14, 2014
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Penn Library


University of Pennsylvania

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