Jill Backhorn and Amy Huynh passing a plate in Decolonizing Foodways 2015. Photo by Jonathan Fong.

Equity and Inclusion


Read a report on the first year of our project here.

Project Description

UC Berkeley is experiencing an unprecedented surge of interest in food and agriculture, as is reflected by its academics and educational programming, student-led initiatives, and community outreach activities. The growing “food movement” on the campus is a strategic opportunity to address the need to transform campus climate, and to fully integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into Berkeley’s programs, capacity building, and campaigns.

Goals

  1. Learn how to facilitate conversations and effectively communicate on inclusivity, equity, and diversity within food spaces at UC Berkeley and beyond;
  2. Develop emotional intelligence and a more comprehensive understanding of issues of privilege, race, class, gender, sexuality, and other forms of marginalization in food movements;
  3. Identify specific operational changes to be made in UC Berkeley food-related organizations and programs, in line with the UC Berkeley Strategic Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity;
  4. Identify examples of specific actions that can empower students, faculty, staff, and executive leadership to contribute to a more inclusive climate in food systems activities/programs;
  5. Distinguish UC Berkeley as a learning institution that actively promotes and realizes equity and inclusion, thus encouraging recruitment, retention, and success of diverse executive leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

2016-17 Project Leadership Team

  • Project Manager: Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Program Manager, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Graduate Student Fellow: Hortencia Rodríguez, Master’s Student, Public Policy
  • Graduate Student Fellow: Melina Packer, PhD Student, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
  • Graduate Student Fellow: Kara Young, PhD Candidate, Sociology
  • Staff Lead: Nadia Barhoum, Research Associate, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
  • Staff Lead: Ruben Canedo Sanchez, Research & Mobilization Coordinator, Center for Educational Equity and Excellence
  • Staff Lead: Elsadig Elsheikh, Global Justice Program Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Initial Collaborating Organizations: Berkeley Food Institute, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence, Multicultural Community Center, Food Pantry, Cal Dining, Student Environmental Resource Center, Student Organic Garden Association, Berkeley Student Food Collective, GradFood, CityFood, University Health Services, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Department of Geography, and Department of Sociology.

Foodscape Mapping Project

Students Organizing Foodscape Map. Photo by Rosalie Z. Fanshel
Students Organizing Foodscape Map. Photo by Rosalie Z. Fanshel

The Foodscape Map is a snapshot of all food-related initiatives on campus. The map will compile and showcase the history, outcomes, and future potential of UC Berkeley teaching, student and faculty research, student organizations, administrative decisions and initiatives, and dining services and procurement. This map will not simply serve as a central hub of information; it will also, more importantly, reveal patterns of exclusion based on social markers of identity (gender, race, class, etc.) and highlight opportunities for change. By compiling such data with an explicit focus on equity and inclusion, our democratically-produced map will provide a vital resource and serve as a building block for the UC Berkeley Food Policy Council, thus inviting the Council to adopt an equity-oriented approach to policymaking.

Data collection is taking place in Spring 2017.

Equity and Inclusion Faculty Panel

Elsadig Elsheikh speaks at equity and inclusion panel.
Elsadig Elsheikh speaks at equity and inclusion panel.

October 26, 2016
David Brower Center, Berkeley

This panel considered the tangible and conceptual outcomes of undoing inequality in the context of the UC Berkeley food system. Panelists addressed issues of student, faculty, and staff representation and participation, with the aim of redesigning the social, cultural, and political institutions that determine food studies and food access on campus. Panelists included Elsadig Elsheikh, Alastair Iles, and Jennifer Sowerwine.

See event footage here.

Project Update and Foodscape Map Presentation

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Multicultural Community Center

Over the past year, the Berkeley Food Institute, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence and numerous other food related organizations on campus have been working to improve campus climate through a project called: “Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley.” Funded by the UC Berkeley Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Innovation Grant Program, this project has brought together various campus constituencies for conversations on the barriers and possibilities for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in the UC Berkeley food system, whether in terms of academics, programming, or dining operations.

Please join us for an end of the year project report back and reflection on the state of UC Berkeley food and agricultural research, teaching, and activism from a diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective. During this presentation, the Berkeley Food Institute Equity and Inclusion Graduate Fellows Melina Packer and Kara Young will provide a brief overview of what has been accomplished over the past academic year, as well as the project’s next steps. They will also present a working “UC Berkeley foodscape map” that illustrates all the food related organizations, people, and resources on campus and how they intersect. This tool attempts to create a visual knowledge base and foundation from which we can recognize resources and identify blockages to further our work toward creating a more just UC Berkeley food system. Participants will have a chance to provide feedback on the content of the map and the process of making the map.

Students of Color Gathering for Food Justice

Thursday, April 14, 2016, 5 – 7 p.m.
Multicultural Community Center

Food is intensely personal—we all need it, but it’s also racialized, cultural, and social. As food justice awareness increases on UC Berkeley’s campus, people of color experiences and voices are still not heard and some needs remain unmet. Whether you are deeply involved in food justice work already or are interested in the connections between race and food in the context of campus, your experiences and visions are welcome. Please join us in exploring our relationships to food and to each other in a student of color only space. We are excited to reflect and build together. The gathering will be followed by a shared meal.

Project Genesis and Fall 2015 Workshops

The first year of this collaborative project was funded through a $10,000 grant from the UC Berkeley Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Innovation Grant Program.

  1. Our first step, in April 2015, was to hold an initial open meeting to envision the project working group and design the student leadership positions.
  2. In May 2015, the project staff members interviewed and hired the student leadership. We were initially looking for one graduate student fellow. In the process of the interviews, we were impressed with how the skills of two candidates, Melina Packer and Kara Young, would make a synergistic team. They were happy to share the position and have proven to be outstanding. Additionally, we hired three smart and passionate undergraduate working group fellows who represent a diverse cross-section of fields of study and student activism: Luna Fassett, Amy Huynh, and Lizbeth Zuniga.
  1. In August – October 2015, the leadership team has held regular meetings, as well as held two open working group meetings, to strategize the timeline, intentions, and structure of the proposed workshops. We collectively decided to make the Fall 2015 workshops by invitation only, for leadership of UC Berkeley units doing work related to food and/or issues of equity and inclusion on campus. Over 60 multi-positional leaders were invited and, to our delight, 45 agreed to participate in the initial workshop.
  1. The first workshop was held as two half days on November 19 and December 8. Overall the workshop was successful in accomplishing our short term goals:
  • Clear awareness of definitions of: food system, food movement, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Reflection on whether we are prioritizing inclusion, diversity, and equity in our own work
  • Stronger connections among ourselves, and more synergy between units
  • Transparency in our process
  • Identify barriers to building equitable and inclusive food systems on campus
  • Practice coming up with solutions to these barriers
  • Identify and create tangible tools and strategies
  • Make pledges to bring tools back to communities
  • Share visions of what an equitable and inclusive foodscape might look like

40 participants attended on the first day and 25 attended on the second day. One weakness is that faculty were notably absent on day two. (In the future we will do the workshop as one full day rather than 2 half-days, and avoid RRR week). We solicited feedback between the two workshop days so as to tailor the second day based on the experience/outcomes of the first.

  1. During the workshop we co-generated a hefty set of resources, which have since been shared with all participants, and are available here: