Join us for our last Fellows Speaker Series presentation of 2022:

(Re)imagining Collective Food Futures: A Panel Presentation with Graduate Student Fellows

November 30, 2 pm-3 pm

In this panel, Virginia Tech graduate student fellows will draw upon their research and praxis interests to discuss food as a site of encounter and possibility within broader socio-ecological systems through critical food systems mapping, the Black Radical Imagination and seed keeping traditions, and an exploration of collective agency for food sovereignty. This interactive discussion will focus on ideas, theories, and methodologies that are central to imagining practices of collective care, resistance, and stewardship to foster more equitable food futures.

10-minute presentations followed by moderated discussion and Q&A:

Critical Mapping Strategies for Food Access in Urban Spaces
Reed Byg, PhD Candidate, Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, & Cultural Thought, VT
In this presentation, I discuss the potentials for re-thinking mapping strategies and spatial analyses of food access in urban spaces. My research is based on an understanding of food as a site of encounter within broader ecological systems, which  necessarily include human political, economic, and social interactions as well as non-human interactions. With this as my starting point, I ask how these contours might be taken up in visual analyses of food (in)access. In this portion of my research, I examine how re-orienting research through critical mapping might help to better identify where food systems fail to meet the needs of communities andwhere food systems successfully meet the needs of communities. 

Seed Griot: Practices of Black Radical Imagination through Seedkeeping Traditions
Justice Madden, Masters Student, Agricultural, Leadership, & Community Education, VT
The oral tradition of seeds in the Black geographies articulate comprehensive ecological stewardship through both cultural and social, life-affirming strategies. In the wake of “plantationocene” or plantation logic, Black seed keepers radically (re)imagine spatial and temporal environments through resistance and self-reliance. By looking at Black seedkeepers and their environment, we see how this natural, ecological relationship fortifies resilient communities and culture. In this paper, we make the argument, that by examining the legacy and maintenance of seed-keeping traditions within the Black Radical Imagination as a blueprint of better understanding the comprehensive epistemologies of Black seedkeeping as central to sustainably equitable food systems strategies.

Black Farmer Collective Organizing
Nicole Nunoo. PhD Candidate, Agricultural, Leadership, & Community Education, VT
Black and Brown-led food systems workers have been at the forefront of collective organizing at the local level to create resilient food systems that do not reproduce the injustices of the past. Focusing on Black farmer organizers in Virginia, this presentation illustrates a review of the literature on how Black farmer organizers at the grassroots level and their cross-sectoral relationships are actively re-imagining collective food futures contemporarily as pathways for liberation, self-determination, and food sovereignty. I further explore collective agency theory and its application to the wider question of how we achieve equitable food futures. 

Contact Garland Mason ( with questions or concerns.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Garland Mason at (540-231-4582/TDD 800-828-1120) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.


Loading player for