Structural Racism in our Food System

Structural Racism in our Food System 

INFAS is committed to help build equity in the food system, we are focusing on the barrier of structural racism. We recognize multiple forms of oppression; so we also will focus on gender and class oppression, and the intersections among race, class, and gender that shape barriers and opportunities to equity. Read INFAS' Statement on Equity here



On May 24, 2019, INFAS* hosted a webinar to hear from three Black Women Scholars from HBCUs** describe their unique perspectives on Structural Racism in the Food System.


About the Presenters

These three INFAS Graduate Fellows are engaged in scholarship in three diverse areas examining the intersections of inequities in food, food systems, and sustainable agriculture:

  1. Kimberly N. Carr, MPH , is a PhD Candidate in the Integrative Biosciences (IBS) Program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama and earned a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia. Her doctoral work is in the context of environmental injustices, food insecurity and health disparities. The title of her dissertation is “Health Disparities, Food Insecurity and Environmental Injustice Among United States Black Adults.” She is currently finalizing her dissertation and has accepted the position of “Food Sovereignty and Racial Equity” Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Michigan State University’s (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems and Center for Interdisciplinarity. MSU is an INFAS member institution. Contact Kimberly:, (eportfolio)
  2. Monyai Chavers is a M.A. Candidate in the Political Science Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her thesis is entitled “The Demand for Food and Land: Views from Liberia” and involves research analyzing the relationship between land tenure systems and food insecurity in Liberia. Her work has relevance to U.S. food systems as both countries face issues in creating and sharing resources to serve all populations; for example, food insecurity rates are higher among Blacks and other minorities in most developed or developing nations despite high agricultural production. Contact Monyai:
  3. Lindsey Lunsford is in the Integrative Public Policy and Development PhD Program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, and earned a Master in Environmental Managament degree from Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. She also currently serves as a Sustainable Food Systems Resources Specialist at the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center at Tuskegee University. Her doctoral project will assess the impacts of 1890 Cooperative Extension Programs on the local and regional food systems of socially disadvantaged farmers and communities still facing the realities of structural racism and inequity. Her approach is to engage communities and agents of change from a stance of empowerment, and to collect and disseminate their narratives and qualitative data regarding their conceptions of the challenges they face with respect to food justice and racial equity. Contact Lindsey:

Webinar Format

  • Brief introduction to the objectives of the INFAS Graduate Fellows Program (IGFP)
  • Presentations by the three fellows about their work and their perspectives on Structural Racism in the Food System.
  • Insights from each to the question "What should food systems scholars and practitioners from outside the HBCU system be aware of, and/or actions to take, with respect to Structural Racism in the Food System"
  • (Planned) 10' of Q and A based on submitted questions via the chat function
  • The webinar will be recorded for future use

Useful Links



(1) If you have any good resources that you think the nation should know of when it comes to diversity, equity inclusion, please go to this site and click "Suggest a Resource"
This page currently has 100+ related resources. 

(2) MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Racial Equity in the Food System Workgroup: "A community of Cooperative Extension professionals and community stakeholders who connect, learn and collaborate to facilitate change within our institutions and society to build racial equity within the food system"


(4) TedTalk: Monique W. Morriss: Why black girls are targeted for punishment at school- and how to change that. TEDWomen 2018
"Around the world, black girls are being pushed out of schools because of policies that target them for punishment, says author and social justice scholar Monique W. Morris. The result: countless girls are forced into unsafe futures with restricted opportunities. How can we put an end to this crisis? In an impassioned talk, Morris uncovers the causes of "pushout" and shows how we can work to turn all schools into spaces where black girls can heal and thrive."

Reading Recommendations


(1) APLU Land-Grant But Unequal:

(2) Wimberley, Ronald C.; Morris, Libby V.; and Harris, Rosalind (2014) "A Federal Commission for the Black Belt South," Professional Agricultural Workers Journal: Vol. 2: No. 1, 6. 
Available at:


(1)  Disparity: An Analysis of the Historical, Political, and Funding Factors at the State Level Affecting Black Academic Agriculture- Ruper Seals, et all.

(2) Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths (Ecology and Justice Series) – September 14, 2017 by Melanie L. Harris. Recommended by Casey Hoy from OSU, INFAS member.

(3) So You Want to Talk About Race. Ijeoma Oluo

(4) Pushout: the criminalization of black girls in schools- Jan 16, 2018; Monique Morris:


    *INFAS: Inter-institutional Network for Food, Agriculture and Sustainability, hosted at UC Davis' Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI,
    **HBCU: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (