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Text Box: Knowledge from the Margins: Speaker & Abstract
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“Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement as Paradoxes of Authority”

Tyler, Shakara and Werkheiser, Ian: Michigan State University

The Food Justice Movement in its radical form uplifts the voices of the communities of color and low-income communities most affected by food injustices triggered by the global industrial food system, which is grounded in profits and economic wealth over the health of people, animals, land, and natural resources. Food Justice in this conception is a community-based response to systemic injustices related to basic human rights, where food is used as the vehicle to dismantle systemic racism, classism, and sexism. In order to better understand the movement’s organizational capacity within Michigan, food justice organizations fully participated in a food justice mapping project using Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) as a type of “postmodern mapping”. We consider “postmodern mapping” useful in order to rethink subjectivities so that identities can be (re) imagined in relation to how we locate ourselves among one-another and across space. A number of food justice organizations mapped their identities on what is now an interactive web platform for the Michigan food justice community. This process facilitated the co-production of knowledge between academic researchers and community-based organizations, which we hope can lead to the greater networking and capacity building within the grassroots food justice community in Michigan. The valuable food justice identities and embodied work of these identities must be better incorporated into the production of knowledge in the “Ivory Tower” of academia, while the methodologies inside academia must intentionally incorporate the skills, needs, and interests of the grassroots community. This project is a model of this necessary transdisciplinary work.

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“Using PGIS as a Postmodern Mapping Tool for Food Justice     Mapping in Michigan”