Our VoiceHealth & Environment

Race and Food: Journal Exposes the Racial Structure of the Food System

Imagine 2050 Staff • Jan 13, 2012

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Center for New Community, and Indiana University Press today announce the publication of “Food Justice,” a new issue of the journal Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts that explores the intersection of race and food in the national and global food systems.

With a wide range of academic- and activist-authored papers, the issue takes readers through the entire food chain from—“field to fork”—in an examination of the challenging intersections between race, sustainability, food safety, access to healthy food, land ethics, food worker justice, and food sovereignty.

Wherever food is produced, picked, processed, packed, or purveyed low-wage workers of color predominate in the hard, dangerous jobs that feed the world on cheap labor and rampant exploitation of food workers within a toxic framework of abiding racial structures spanning the global community.  And wherever food is sought by those who can least afford it, those same racial structures prevent or prohibit access to decent, nutritious, and affordable food.  If all people are to be well-fed with good, healthy, affordable food there can be no avoidance of addressing the fundamental, structural racism at the heart of the food system.  In short, race and food are inextricably related.

According to Charlotte Williams, Field Organizer for Food Justice Initiative, Center for New Community, “A just food movement must be grounded within the framework of racial justice. With a renewed sense of urgency, food workers, urban and rural organizations and communities, and neighborhood leaders are working together to dismantle the racial structure of the food system that continues its defeat of the average citizen through low-wage jobs, harsh working conditions, and poor quality, high-cost food.”

“At every level in the food system,” Andrew Grant-Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Kirwan Journal said, “people and communities of color are deeply impacted by this racial structure.”

The special issue was a collaboration between the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University (Columbus) and the Chicago-based Center for New Community and its Food Justice Initiative and is published by Indiana University Press.


The Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts journal is a highly regarded academic publication regularly citied by social justice activists, educators, community organizers, policymakers, and students alike.  The Journal is published three times a year by Indiana University Press in partnership with the Kirwan Institute and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. Information on subscriptions and bulk purchases of single issues is available from the Press at http://www.jstor/r/iupress or by calling

1-812-855-8507 or 1-800-842-6796.

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute partners with people, communities, and institutions worldwide to think about, talk about, and act on race in ways that create and expand opportunity for all. For more information, go to kirwaninstitute.org.

Indiana University Press, founded in 1950, is proud to play a part in today’s increasingly-essential global dialogue and to provide readers with a world of ideas, discoveries, and perspectives.  Its titles feature scholarly essays, fiction, poetry, and art in a wide range of subject areas including legal studies, feminist and American philosophy, Judaism and science, Middle East women’s studies, feminist studies in religion, film, bioethics, folklore, African American and African studies and literature, electronic services, modern literature, Victorian studies, transnationalism, and environmental ethics, among others.

The Center for New Community is a national organization committed to building community, justice, and equality. The Center is grounded in many faith traditions, and builds community where the dignity and value of all humanity is manifest. Based in Chicago, the organization defends democracy, empowers communities, and promotes equality in its commitments to cultivate civic life and advance systemic change in partnership with local leaders, organizations, congregations, and other institutions.

Subscriptions Contact:

Customer Service Department

Indiana University Press

601 North Morton Street

Bloomington, Indiana 47404



Media Contacts:

Linda Bannister, Indiana University Press, 1-812-855-9449, [email protected]

Charlotte Williams, 1-312-266-0319, ext. 12, [email protected]


Imagine 2050 Newsletter

  • translate

    English • Afrikaans • العربية • Беларуская • Български • Català • Česky • Cymraeg • Dansk • Deutsch • Eesti • Ελληνικά • Español • فارسی • Français • Gaeilge • Galego • हिन्दी • Hrvatski • Bahasa Indonesia • Íslenska • Italiano • עברית • Latviešu • Lietuvių • 한국어 • Magyar • Македонски • മലയാളം • Malti • Nederlands • 日本語 • Norsk (Bokmål) • Polski • Português • Română • Русский • Slovenčina • Slovenščina • Shqip • Srpski • Suomi • Svenska • Kiswahili • ไทย • Tagalog • Türkçe • Українська • Tiếng Việt • ייִדיש. • 中文 / 漢語