Valuing All Knowledges Through an Expanded Definition of Access
AbstractHistorical racial injustices as well as more recent public and economic policies have culminated in the displacement of supermarkets from some central city neighborhoods. With this displacement, many low-income and minority neighborhoods not only have been deprived of affordable healthful food, but also have experienced prolonged exposure to energy-dense and highly processed snack foods. Partly as a consequence of this loss of supermarkets, diet-related diseases have become prevalent. Our current policies to improve this health issue address only objective measures of access, with little input from community residents, and they are having limited results. In response, I have reconceptualized access as a construct with five dimensions: acceptability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and availability. This new expanded view supports both objective and perceived aspects of access and values the knowledge of residents through community-based participatory research, thereby providing a more complete understanding of access.
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