Dr. Charisma Acey at UC Center Sacramento: “Planning for Food Justice”

In a lecture at UC Center Sacramento, BFI Faculty Director Charisma Acey explores food policies and strategies implemented as a result of SB 1000 — and how this state law can be leveraged by community members to fight for food justice through the city planning process.

October 6, 2023

By Austin Price

Acey’s lecture coincided with the release of BFI’s research report Planning for Food Justice: Advancing Equity in City and County General Plans Through California’s Senate Bill 1000, which outlines this research and lists seven recommendations to the state of California and to city and county planners. This report was coauthored by Susana Matias, Co-Associate Faculty Director and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at UC Berkeley, and Katherine Fallon, a recent Master of City Planning graduate of the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

UC Center Sacramento also published a one-page policy brief summarizing the research and recommendations. Both documents can be downloaded below.

Charisma Acey was accompanied to Sacramento by members of BFI staff and a select group of UC Berkeley students, many from Acey’s course “Planning for Sustainability.” After the lecture, BFI Community Engagement Program Manager Nathalie A. Muñoz organized a roundtable discussion with Ujamaa Farmer Collective, a Sacramento-based farm business cooperative comprised of Nathaniel Brown of Brown Sugar Farm, Keith and Richelle Hudson of Grocery Croppers, and Nelson Hawkins of We Grow Urban Farm. The collective is on a mission to “secure land tenure and equitable access to resources for historically underserved farmers of color.” According to the farmers, land tenure is the biggest challenge facing young, small-scale farmers, particularly farmers of color.

This year, Ujamaa Farmer Collective received funds through the state budget to acquire a 60-100 acre parcel of land in Yolo County, where they will build their cooperative farm business to grow food for their community, educate other farmers through farm-to-farm training. They are continuing to fundraise to support the cooperative.

With the students, Nate Brown, Keith Hudson, and Richelle Hudson shared their perspectives on land tenure, tool-sharing, food justice, and how they have connected with the land through farming and policy advocacy.

Keith Hudson of Grocery Croppers talks with UC Berkeley students about the purpose and successes of Ujamaa Farmer Collective. Photos by Austin Price

Richelle Hudson of Grocery Croppers talks about how the food system has changed in Sacramento during her lifetime.

Dr. Charisma Acey, BFI staff, and UC Berkeley students in front of the California State Capitol.