Food Justice aims to address systemic injustices on the production, distribution, and consumption sides of the food system. On this trip, we will examine the causes and effects of the inequality that persists within each element the United States food system which enables exploitation of farm workers, creates food deserts without affordable access to culturally appropriate healthy food, and maximizes profits for powerful players in the food industry. We will survey the historical processes that create these forms structural inequalities in order to contextualize our exploration of the lived experiences of who discriminated against on all levels of the current food system. These investigations will provide a framework for service learning with a varied set of non-profit and legal organizations who work to address many of these diverse set of symptoms and causes to promote justice and equity in the processes of growing, purchasing, and consuming the food we eat.
Either on the streets, in cars, or in shelters, there is a wide variety of why people experience homelessness; the situation looks different from youth to family. Understanding what systems keep them from obtaining the resources they need is a major goal of ours. To support this goal, we plan on participating in direct and indirect service, understanding shelters and how they impact the community and what we can do to support them. This topic also has many intersecting sub-factors, such as politics and economics, and we would like to have conversations in and out of the community about these and what issues they can create. Homelessness is an issue and situation that affects communities all around the world; it is integral to make a change. By the end of this trip, we hope participants will have a deeper understanding of what communities can do to help or assist people experiencing homelessness.
Immigration, Agriculture, and Migrant Workers
This trip will focus on acquiring insight to the hidden community of seasonal/migrant farmworkers. This community, largely shadowed by physically demanding work environments, highlights the nature of brown collar jobs, which are experiences centered around immigrants who receive low wages and limited economic and social mobility.Throughout this trip, we strive to create experiences that will help us better understand the lives of farmworkers and in turn how local communities can be involved to improve some of the social and environmental factors such as working conditions. By collaborating with activist groups and local organizations we hope to shed light on the means by which agricultural workers grow food, but also the treatment of these individuals who provide a critical role in fueling our economy/society.
Environmental Justice describes environmentalism that is intersectional and targets environmental injustice usually around marginalized communities. It defines our “environment” as not just the natural spaces outside of urbanized or constructed areas but also the spaces we live, work, pray, and play. We intend to approach this issue through volunteerism, advocacy, and exploration of various spaces these ideas can be implemented. Through this trip we hope to complicate the idea of what sustainability means for different groups and communities, how it has previously been constructed and by whom, explore definitions of environmental consciousness, and consider historical and social factors that affect what we view as viable, doable, green living.
Immigration, Education, and Incarceration
Despite being known as the land of the free, the United States is the country with the most prisoners per capita in the world. The education system plays an important role in funneling people into the prison system. Unfortunately, many of these people are 1st generation immigrants who are at a greater disadvantage when navigating such a complex institution in a country that is not their own. Our trip aims to explore the intersectionality between immigration, education, and incarceration. By analyzing how each institution works separately, we will consequently understand how these institutions work together in order to create a complex system that many immigrants in the United States currently find themselves tangled in. We will tackle these issues through indirect and direct service at non-profits, schools, and through conversations with local law enforcement. Our hope is that every participant come back with a greater knowledge of these highly influential institutions and become an active participant in dismantling these issues.