Armand Gamboa, “Food Justice in the Milwaukee Landscape”
Mentor: Arijit Sen, Architecture
This research is a part of a bigger project called “Climates of Inequality.” Organized by the Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of universities led by Rutgers University-Newark working with issue organizations and public spaces, this participatory public memory research project engaged students, educators, and community leaders from over 20 cities across the US and around the world in order to expose the roots of current environmental injustice, and share generations of front-line communities’ strategies for resistance, resilience, and mitigation. The Milwaukee community’s story is critical in this global vision and action around climate and environmental justice. Throughout its conception and development, the food landscape of Milwaukee has continually evolved to serve a diverse set of needs. This study examines the history of that development, and its impact on the larger social justice framework of the city, through the construction of a timeline analyzing national policy and local events. The purpose of this policy-event timeline is to render visible the complex relationships between larger national policies and local actions. The timeline illustrates how local actions respond to the opportunities and deficiencies afforded by the larger system of national and local policies. In analyzing the importance of food as an interconnected agent in social justice, the resiliency of community residents in the face of injustice is exposed as a model of resistance.