Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development <p>The&nbsp;<strong><em>Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development</em><em>&nbsp;</em>(JAFSCD) </strong>is an <strong>open access, international, peer-reviewed</strong> <strong>journal</strong> focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals. JAFSCD emphasizes best practices and tools related to the planning, community economic development, and ecological protection of local and regional agriculture and food systems, and works to bridge the interests of practitioners and academics. Articles are published online as they are approved, and are gathered into quarterly issues for indexing purposes. JAFSCD is an online-only journal; subscribers may download or print any articles in accordance with the Creative Commons <a title="CC BY 4.0" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a> license.</p> Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, a project of the Center for Transformative Action en-US Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2152-0801 <p>The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as <a title="Creative Commons BY 4.0 license" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a>. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.</p> Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>I worked as the director of the East New York Farms! (ENYF) Project for seven years, from 2006 to 2013. As media interest and general excite­ment about sustainable food grew during that time, assessing potential opportunities for “partnership” and participation in the broader world of sustain­able food work (that is, outside East New York) became an increasingly important part of my role and an increasingly significant way in which we defined what we were, and were not, about. </p> <p>The route to participation by ENYF in Food Dignity started with Megan Gregory, a Ph.D. student at Cornell, inviting our then farm manager, David Vigil, and some of our youth leaders to speak at a conference in Ithaca, New York. I remember David coming back and telling me that “they treated us like royalty,” as he described being picked up in Ithaca, taken out to dinner at the world-famous Moosewood Restaurant, and generally welcomed and appreciated by Megan and the other hosts at Cornell. We accepted the invita­tion to this conference largely because of the leadership-development opportunity it afforded to our youth members to share their experiences in food justice work and hear from others. Had it been an invitation for just our staff to speak, we may not have felt that we could justify committing the time to this; invitations to food-related con­ferences were frequent, but we always prioritized our work on the ground....</p> Sarita Daftary-Steel ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 5 7 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.013 Introduction—and Invitation—to the Food Dignity Special Issue <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>Over the course of five funded years and with five million dollars, three dozen community food justice leaders and academics across three U.S. states and nine organizations collaborated on action and research about community food justice, security, leadership, sustainability, and sovereignty. We called this collaboration <em>Food Dignity</em>. If you read this special issue, you will hear 20 voices (and about a dozen more, indirectly) presenting some of what we have learned since first proposing the Food Dignity collaboration in 2010 and also striving to make useful sense of it, for ourselves and for you.</p> <p>In this opening set of essays, leaders of the five community organizations partnering in Food Dignity each describe how and why they chose to collaborate in this project and reflect on their experiences with it (Daftary-Steel, 2018; Neideffer, 2018; Sequeira, 2018; Sutter, 2018; Woodsum, 2018a). Then we discuss how the three of us—the project PI, a community leader with decades of experience in community activism, and a non–tenure track academic team member who joined the project a little late—ended up being the ones leading this project to its close, including guest editing this journal issue (Hargraves, Porter, &amp; Woodsum, 2018)....</p> Christine M. Porter Gayle M. Woodsum Monica Hargraves ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 1 4 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.025 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>When asked to tell the story of how and why I was invited and decided to join the Food Dignity research project, I found myself traveling back over a long road full of unexpected turns, bumps, discoveries, and delights.&nbsp;And as I began to reflect over the five years spent implementing that project in Tompkins County, New York, I was once more awed by the countless stories to be told and knew that, at best, I could offer merely a glimpse of the wonderful and challenging experi­ences that were ultimately instrumental in learning valuable&nbsp;lessons for cultivating sustainable food systems.&nbsp;In sharing the process and results of being part of such a unique opportunity, I hope to both inspire and challenge readers to explore the possi­bilities that can exist when the sustainability of our food systems places a high value on everyone experiencing “dignity” in their relationship to food—whether as a consumer, entrepreneur, farmer, composter, or activist....</p> E. Jemila Sequeira ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 9 11 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.014 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>If I can do something to help my people, and to help other people understand Indian people better and to appreciate our culture, then I have done what my father asked me to do in 1969 when he asked me to come home to the reservation and help my people in whatever way I could. In the last 50 or 60 years of my life, with the assistance of other people, I have been able to make some changes.</p> <p>When my son, Jim Sutter, and I came back home to Wind River Indian Reservation, we knew our people needed health and human services, not just more clinical services. We thought we espe­cially needed to help people with food and nutri­tion. More generally, I thought that other people—researchers, academics, historians—need a better picture of what we Indians are all about in ways that neither glorify us nor demean us. Too often we are portrayed only on one side or the other....</p> Virginia J. Sutter ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 13 15 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.012 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p><em>Having Feeding Laramie Valley become part of the Food Dignity research project was a unique oppor­tunity to contribute to a new body of knowledge associated with food systems work—to have the voices of the people of our community and our organization be heard. Not just heard, but taken seriously and emulated. And, because we would be part of a national collective of other communities, with the added benefit of being partnered with several highly regarded universities, our voices would take on a new identity—one of expertise in helping to define best practices for addressing local food insecurity.&nbsp; </em></p> <p>That sounds good. Solid, confident, visionary. Small-town nonprofit does good, benefits from networking and collaboration. It’s even kind of true.</p> <p>But as is typical for a fledgling grassroots organization bent on accomplishing frontline social reform, the way we might publicly characterize our efforts doesn’t always fall in line with the full reality of how we actually experience them. In the course of scrambling for support and recognition, com­mu­nity-based organizations learn what language to use, what partnerships to foster, and most impor­tantly what narratives to put forth in representing our missions. It’s how we crack open doors to institutions and power brokers capable of backing us—and legitimizing our work. It’s how we man­age to gradually then steadily tap into streams of funding that will not only grow, but become con­sistent and sustainable. Refining the presentation of our activism is how we survive....</p> Gayle M. Woodsum ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 17 22 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.017 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>We found a way to grow carrots, to look people straight in the eye and say, “<em>That’s</em> good community policing.”</p> <p>It was an unusual process that ultimately led the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in San Lean­dro, California to become one of the five commu­nity sites across the country participating in the Food Dignity Research project. Signing on to that project opened a new door for us to execute the vision we had for our work in community food production as part of community policing. The most beneficial aspect of it was to be with people who were like-minded and didn’t think we were crazy.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2009, elements of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the leadership of the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League, Inc., (a nonprofit corporation established to leverage crime prevention efforts of the sheriff’s office), came to a conclusion: poverty, in all its various aspects, is a root driver of crime. Therefore, to credibly address crime in the poor, underserved communities of Ashland and Cherryland, we had to first address the issue of poverty....</p> Marty Neideffer ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 23 25 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.011 Leading Food Dignity <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>Together, Christine Porter, Gayle Woodsum, and Monica Hargraves led the action and research project called <em>Food Dignity</em> to its close, seven years after it began in 2011. Though playing this role could not be a surprise for Christine, who was principal investigator, the three of us doing it together was not part of the original leadership plan. In this three-voiced essay, we aim to answer the question, “Why us?”...</p> Monica Hargraves Christine M. Porter Gayle M. Woodsum ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 27 31 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.026 Introduction to the Food Dignity Values Statement <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>The Food Dignity Values Statement was drafted at a national project meeting in May 2014, three years into the community-university collaboration that was the Food Dignity action research project. The project brought together academics from four universities and community leaders from five community-based organizations working to streng­then their local food systems. The goal was an action-research collaboration to support and learn from and with these community organizations about how to build equitable, sustainable, and just local food systems: “Food dignity as a premise and Food Dignity as a research project are both steeped in recognizing that community people hold the knowledge and ability to ask the right questions and find the right answers to their own needs” (Porter, Herrera, Marshall, &amp; Woodsum, 2014, p. 124)....</p> Monica Hargraves ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 33 35 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.018 Triple-rigorous Storytelling <p>Case study research provides scholarly paths for storytelling, with systematic methodological guides for achieving epistemological rigor in telling true stories and deriving lessons from them. For docu­menting and better understanding work as complex as community organizing for food justice, rigorous storytelling may proffer one of the most suitable research methods. In a five-year action-research project called Food Dignity, leaders of five food justice community-based organizations (CBOs) and academics at four universities collaborated to develop case studies about the work of the five CBOs. In this reflective essay, the project’s principal investigator reviews methods used in other food justice case studies and outlines the case study methods used in Food Dignity. She also recounts lessons learned while developing these methods with collaborators. The community co-investigators show her that telling true stories with morals relating to justice work requires three kinds of methodological rigor: ethical, emotional, and epistemological.</p> Christine M. Porter ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 37 61 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.008 Follow the Money <p>A guiding principle in participatory action research collaborations is to strive for equity in relations between community and academic project partners. One promising way of assessing equity and power sharing in such partnerships is to trace and analyze financial resource allocation within them. This paper reports and assesses how nearly US$5 million in grant funding was allocated and spent between community and academic partners in a research, extension, and education project called Food Dignity in the United States. Findings from this analysis of extensive financial project records include that 36% of the funding was subawarded to the five community-based organization (CBO) partners, 40% supported the work of two univer­sity partners, and the remaining 24% was invested in developing and supporting the collaboration of many diverse partners on a wide range of project goals. Staff salary and fringe composed the single largest spending arena, making up about two-thirds of spending for CBOs and collaboration, and half for universities. However, had faculty salaries been paid from the grant, rather than by the partnering universities, then this component would have been much higher. Indirect costs and support for gradu­ate students were the next-biggest categories in academic budgets, while CBOs received and spent zero dollars in these arenas. Although this project has received a national award for community-campus partnerships, we find that, even within a narrow lens of an individual community-university partnership, our allocations underinvested in the research expertise, administrative costs, and capac­ity development needs of the CBOs. Using a wider lens that encompasses the systemic, institutional­ized inequities between community-based and university-based partners, we find that we pro­duced and reproduced inequities in our monetary resource allocations in at least four main ways: employment conditions, institutional support, capacity development, and autonomy, including control over funding. We call these systemic inequities <em>academic supremacy</em> and close with several institutional and individual recommendations for how to begin undoing them.</p> Christine M. Porter Alyssa Wechsler ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 63 82 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.006