Food policies should be informed by those who they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences.
Historically, the women in Kashmir have remained empowered enough to be part of every sphere of life. Though they have traditionally picked a set of jobs as their careers in education, governance, business and medical science to suit their homemaking role, some of them have opted for challenging careers. Humaira Nabi talks to a number of Kashmir women scientists detailing their journeys in the challenging field and their core research focus
By Kashmir Life – 8:53 pm February 11, 2023
UB alumna leads Buffalo Freedom Gardens.
By CHARLOTTE HSU Published July 13, 2022
Summer is here, and with the arrival of the growing season, an initiative called Buffalo Freedom Gardens has given dozens of residents of Buffalo’s East Side neighborhoods a free raised bed garden.
On a Saturday in June, volunteers including UB Food Lab members joined Freedom Gardens founder Gail V. Wells to make the last of this year’s deliveries.
The team packed cedar wood planters, each expected to last at least a decade, into a U-Haul truck, along with bags of soil. Freedom Gardens recipients also get seeds and vegetable seedlings, garden gloves, a bright green watering can, and instructions on caring for the plants.
Each garden is a thing of joy — and an act of liberation, says Wells, a UB alumna who remains connected to the university community.
She points out that food has long been central to movements for freedom: “For Black people who are descendants of kidnapped and enslaved Africans, the way we could secure our safety and our families and build an economy for ourselves was first based on us being able to feed ourselves,” she says.
Dr Samina Raja plans cities, towns, and regions to promote health and food equity. An award-winning professor and founder of a globally recognized Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities laboratory, operating from the University of Buffalo, she and her team conduct research on how to develop equitable, sustainable, and healthy cities. Her research has been used to advise local and national governments within and outside the US, and international organizations like the UN’s FAO. In a freewheeling interview with Masood Hussain, she offers her ideas about Kashmir of her imagination.
Andrew Galarneau: Grassroots efforts help water seeds of food security on East Side
June 5, 2022 | Buffalo News, The: Web Edition Articles (NY)
Samina Raja, an internationally known University at Buffalo expert on building sustainable food systems and healthy communities, has spent more than 20 years studying how to help feed people living in neighborhoods without groceries, concentrating on Buffalo’s East Side.
The solution, in her estimation, is a classic case of something being simple, but not easy.
“The city’s Black neighborhoods need sustained structural investments, not fly-in, fly-out charity,” she and other UB Food Lab researchers said in an op-ed published at CivilEats.com.
“We are unlikely to remedy food inequities” without a greater understanding of what causes poor food environments, says Samina Raja, associate dean for research and inclusive excellence, and principal investigator of the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab at the University at Buffalo.
New research by UB Food Lab member Carol E Ramos-Gerena in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Food policies should be informed by those who they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences. This article bridges food and policy scholarship with the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire to answer: how do we understand literacies tied to food policy? What does (or, what could) it mean to be food policy literate? In a new JAFSCD article, Carol E. Ramos-Gerena proposes five principles for conceptualizing critical food policy literacy that support food system transformations.
The paper suggests that efforts to promote critical food policy literacy must facilitate communities to (a) “read the world,” (b) “read the word,” (c) be critically aware of food policy processes and systems, (d) learn contextually and through authentic practice, and (e) enable people to negotiate and transform the world (their context) collectively.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY, PRACTICE, AND RESEARCH
Possessing knowledge on engaging with food policy processes is not commensurate with actual engagement. Thus, structural barriers to community participation must also be addressed. Food system planners and educators, particularly at the municipal level, should support locally-based citizen food organizations to engage in food policy. This support must go beyond assessing communities’ food policy literacy. Instead, it must intend to bridge the gap to ensure critical readiness for food policy engagement.
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How do scholars co-produce knowledge with community partners and early career researchers? How can this work happen in an equitable way in cities and regions that are in the throes of conflict? A panel from the UB Food lab tackles this question drawing on their collaborative research in Jammu and Kashmir. Speakers Insha Akram (Fellow and Trainee), Athar Parvaiz (Research Affiliate), and Samina Raja (Director, Food Lab) will share insights from their collaboration as part of the Building Blocks of Equity Series hosted by the Community for Global Health Equity.
The aim of the larger series is to encourage participants to:
- discover how co-produced knowledge can promote health equity for individuals;
- understand the importance of training students to ethically and responsibly work with community partners;
- learn how to develop reciprocal partnerships early on in academic careers;
- discuss barriers to educating students on how to co-produce knowledge.
The event will be held on May 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM via Zoom.
For more information and registration click here.
How can Rochester rebuild its food infrastructure to make the system more equitable? Cities around the country are asking this question. The answers often include community gardens, urban farms, fresh food cooperatives, and more.
University at Buffalo urban planning professor, Samina Raja, will be in Rochester next week to discuss the issue as part of the Reshaping Rochester series. The podcast preview her talk on food equity by design.
Speaker: Samina Raja, PhD
Wed, April 27, 2022 | 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST via ZOOM
17th Annual reshaping ROCHESTER series, Community Design Center, Rochester, NY
Dr. Samina Raja will deliver a virtual lecture at the 17th reSHAPING ROCHESTER series. This year the series focuses on what it means for a city to be “ideal,” and asks if/how a community could become ideal. Dr. Raja will focus her remarks on the ideal of food equity in cities.
Cities around the United States are rebuilding their community food infrastructure. Community gardens, urban farms, farmers’ markets, rooftop gardens, and fresh food cooperatives are transforming food landscapes. How does this resurgent interest in communities’ food infrastructure center questions of equity and justice, if at all? Who controls food landscapes in cities? What role can planning and design play in creating a more just and equitable community food infrastructure? Drawing on community-centered research completed in US cities, Dr. Samina Raja will explore these questions in her talk as part of the Reshaping Rochester series.