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Pathways to reparations: land and healing through food justice

Date: Oct 22, 2020
Author(s): Jessica Gilbert, Rebekah A. Williams
Topic(s): Economic Development: General, Economic Development: High Road Economic Development, Environment: Environmental Justice, Environment: Food, Environment: General, Environment: Land Use
Type: Publication

While mainstream efforts for reparations center financial compensation via legislation and litigation, social movements expand this conceptualization in order to address critical and yet often overlooked components of reparations. Equitable access to land and opportunities to heal from intergenerational trauma are two of these reparations demands that social movements prioritize. However, there is a dearth of scholarly literature exploring the role and impact of social movements on reparations. Therefore, we seek to develop this important conversation. In doing so, we elucidate the ways in which these two foci of reparations overlap with those of other social movements; food justice initiatives, in particular, also emphasize the connections between racial justice, land justice, and healing. We thus synthesize social movement, food justice, and reparations literatures to examine the overlaps between the goals of food justice initiatives and social movements for reparations. Using two case studies, Tierra Negra and Soul Fire Farm, we demonstrate the ways in which food justice initiatives support social movements for reparations. Contextualizing our analysis within reflections on personal experiences, we argue that through their efforts to transform systems of oppression, food justice initiatives provide an alternative pathway to achieving reparations.

This article was published in SAGE Journals and can be accessed here: Gilbert JL, Williams RA. Pathways to reparations: land and healing through food justice. Human Geography. September 2020. doi:10.1177/1942778620951936