The project: Urban agriculture has many benefits. It can provide access to fresh, affordable, and culturally appropriate food; create employment and educational opportunities; and add to neighborhood green spaces. These are all part of creating more socially just cities. However, urban agriculture does not necessarily change political and social structures that are at the root of food system and environmental inequities.In order to be truly transformative, farmers and gardeners, supportive policy makers and funders, and the urban agriculture movement overall must challenge the structures that create injustice. This entails work to dismantle multi-generational poverty, racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, and political oppression, particularly as they surface in food and environmental systems. Beyond the Kale is a project that seeks to support this level of change. To-date, the project has included:
- research for our new book, Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City by Kristin Reynolds and Nevin Cohen. 2016. University of Georgia Press’ Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series);
- a public forum held in 2014 focused on how research and scholarship can support urban agriculture programs focused on social justice;
- photo documentation of urban agriculture organizations in New York City whose programs focus specifically on dismantling oppression and advancing social justice.
All photos on this site are courtesy of Rob Stephenson.
Research for the book was supported in part by a Civic Engagement grant from The New School and by small grants from The Merck Family Fund and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Foundation.