The Geographies of Food Justice: Urban Farming & Empowerment Through the Lens of Critical Race Theory

Data collection for my research project is heavily centered around harvesting season.  The project examines three urban farms in different boroughs of New York.  I have made a substantial amount of progress with researching context for each farm.  This would include population, demographics, health profiles, and more.  I have conducted three very useful interviews that I have transcribed.  I am making connections to my theory with the interviews, and exploring now more than my original chosen tenet of critical race theory to examine.  I could, however, improve on continuing to set up interviews, as the season is over for growing and harvesting, and most farm coordinators have their sights set on grant writing and spring planning.

 

From the data collected so far, I feel that I am experiencing theory in practice, making this experience as raw as ever.  I am pulling more nuanced questions from my interviews, like “Does having white managers reaffirm or denounce the basic claim of critical race theory, that racism permeates every aspect of life?  There is no yes or no answer for this complex question, but from what I am witnessing on these farms, it is highly situational.  Looking at managerial positions through a critical lens has been very interesting, but at the opening of harvesting season of early spring, I have community members on my radar for interviewing.  I feel that I need to incorporate many more stories, voices, and opinions in my research.  I want my examinations to be well-rounded, displaying polyvocality in my narrative.   This experience thus far has my ambitions high, and my sights set on presenting my research at a conference next year.

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