2019 CASFS

SOCIAL JUSTICE READER

Background:

From the struggles of landless peasants in Latin America and the fight for workers rights among the Immokalee Coalition tomato pickers,  to the urban farming movements across the cities of the United States,  food movements have always had social issues at their core. The CASFS Social Justice Reader has emerged in recent years as a result of  apprentice and staff demand for a critical tool to help root our work of growing food within a larger international conversation about food justice and equity.

This reader acknowledges and links our course material to a number of systemic issues:

  1. Racist socioeconomic and political structures are one of the prime causes of food insecurity and related health issues among people of color.
  2. Land that is currently farmed  has commonly been  acquired by the historical dispossession of land from indigenous and native peoples.
  3. The modern food system in the United States was developed with  economic wealth  accumulated from slavery (free, forced labor).
  4. The people that are most impacted by the structure of our current food system are those most impacted by multiple systems of oppression (i.e. women, people of color, LGBTQ community, youth, the differently abled).

How to use the SJ Reader:

We hope that this document will help inspire and support the work of many generations of farmers, gardeners, and activists who dream of creating food systems where the risks and benefits of food production are shared fairly.

The CASFS SJ READER is intended to provide an introduction to the connections between our food system and various social systems, and to offer a critical lens by which to understand the political, social, and cultural patterns that have shaped our current norms of food production, distribution, and management. We hope to support a collective shift toward a future that supports both people and planet.

These materials are intended be read in conjunction with other readings and materials required for  the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. The SJ Reader is divided into two sections. Part I provides an introduction to the multitude of critical issues to understand, as well an an opportunity to look at how the issues connect with one another. Part II adopts a solution-focused perspective,  highlighting the ways in which communities across the globe are building health, justice, and equity in their approaches to food.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part I: Understanding the Issues; Land, People, and Food

Section 1. History of Current Food System in the US

Section 2. Land Access, Ownership, and Distribution

Section 3. Impacts of Globalization on Farming and Communities

Section 4. Unequal Distribution of the Impacts of Food Production on Human Health And Environment

Section 5. Exclusivity of the Food Movement

Part II: Seeing the Connections and Working Towards Solutions; Resistance, Decolonization, and Movement Building 

Section 1. Shifting our Frameworks of Thinking

Section 2. Local and Global Food Justice Movements  

Section 3. Reclaiming Community Health

Section 4. Land Access

Section 5. Public Advocacy and Institutional Transformation

Section 6. Seed Sovereignty

Part I: Understanding the Issues; Land, People and Food

Section 1. History of Current Food System in the US

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand the histories, contributions and complex relationships of various populations to the US food system.
  2. To recognize historical forces which have led to imbalances of power within the US and global food systems, AND discuss who benefits from these imbalances.
  3. To explore the ways in which overarching social dynamics have manifested and reinforced themselves within the production, distribution, and regulation of food in our everyday lives.

CASFS Curriculum Manual:

Section 2. Land Access, Ownership, and Distribution

 

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To answer the questions, ‘Who gets to own farmland?’ ‘How did they come to own it?’ and ‘How does this shape our food system?’
  2. To explore the connections between modern patterns of land ownership/access and historical patterns of colonization and disenfranchisement.

Resources:

Section 3. Impacts of Globalization on Farming and Communities

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Learning Objectives:

  1.  To explore the effects of corporate and governmental food policy upon the lives and livelihoods of farmers and their communities

Resources:

Section 4. Unequal Distribution of the Impacts of Food Production on Human

Health And Environment

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To highlight the detrimental and disproportionate impacts of conventional food production upon human and planetary health, and examine why some communities face increased exposure to risk

Resources:

Section 5. Exclusivity of the Food Movement

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To encourage awareness of the ways in which social oppressions reproduce themselves even within movements for social change

Resources:

Part II: Seeing the Connections and Working Towards Solutions

Section 1. Shifting Ways of Thinking

 

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To explore frameworks of thinking that  challenge assumptions and  create the basis for a just and sustainable food movement.

Resources:

Section 2. Local and Global Food Justice Movements

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide an connection to the root of agroecology in social movement and the international struggles of peasant farmers.
  2. To explore how these  movements connect to farming and food systems work in the United States.


Resources:

Section 3. Reclaiming Community Health

 

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide an overview of self-determined, community led efforts nationally and internationally that use food and farming projects to honor histories, and resist the dehumanization of capitalism and white supremacy.

Resources:

Section 4. Land Reform and Access

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To explore methods of land access beyond traditional ownership structures
  2. To highlight the various efforts of different communities to protect, retain, and steward their land.

Resources:

Section 5. Public Policy and Institutional Transformation

 

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide an introduction to structural and policy level changes needed to create a more equitable and just food system.

Resources:

Section 6. Seed Sovereignty

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Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide an overview of seed sovereignty movements locally, nationally, and internationally
  2. To underscore the importance of access, ownership, and control of seed in creating a healthy and just food system.

Resources: