Food Justice Lab
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What is the Food Justice Lab?

The Food Justice Lab is an experimental space for action oriented research on the roots of our present economic crisis, resulting food system inequalities, and creative people-centered responses to enact different food futures.  Our long-term research projects support people who long for cooperatively-based economies that are founded upon human dignity, respect and justice.  Over the past five years the Food Justice Lab has incubated FIRSTHAND Co-op and WV FOODLINK.  These projects have mobilized faculty, community-based organizations, undergraduate and graduate students in conceptual and applied work to create alternative food networks.  Researchers, students and community-based organizations who are interested in collaborating with the Food Justice Lab should contact Dr. Bradley Wilson at brwilson@mail.wvu.edu. 

Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geography

The Food Justice Lab was founded in 2010 by Dr. Bradley Wilson. Wilson’s research is rooted in human geography with a focus on critical food studies, political ecology and development studies. He is particularly interested in the moral economies of cooperative development, the meteoric rise of agri-food certifications, and the politics of transnational solidarity.  He has worked in Nicaragua for 15 years.  Since arriving to WVU in 2010 he also developed an action research program on community food strategies in West Virginia.  This work in West Virginia has led to new thinking about how to support food justice movements in the mountain communities of Central America and Appalachia.  To learn more read Wilson’s  Curriculum Vitae.  Wilson is currently recruiting undergraduate, M.A. and Ph.D. students interested in geography, food studies, ethical consumption, solidarity economies, environmental justice and the green economy.  

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Joshua Lohnes,  Food Justice Fellow

Ph.D. Candidate, Geography

Joshua is a PhD candidate in Geography at West Virginia University. He is the co-director of WV FOODLINK, a project seeking to enhance community food security in West Virginia through the development of a learning commons envisioned in conjunction with anti-hunger partners across West Virginia. His current research centers on the politics of food access in Appalachia. He is especially concerned with understanding how households negotiate food sourcing strategies through different channels including the market, the state, food charities and alternative food networks. Joshua is involved in a number of projects including Conscious Harvest Co-operative a gardening initiative producing fresh foods for local food pantries. He also sits on the board of FIRSTHAND co-operative which is experimenting with democratizing control over the means of surplus redistribution from coffee sales.

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Amanda Marple, Food Justice Fellow

M.A. Candidate, Geography

Amanda has been affiliated with the Food Justice Lab since Fall 2012, initially working with FIRSTHAND Co-operative and eventually as an undergraduate researcher for WV FOODLINK. Currently, Amanda is a Masters student in the Geography Department at WVU researching the development of student food cooperatives on university campuses across the US.  She is also working to develop and expand the scope of FIRSTHAND Co-operative in 2016-17.

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Thomson Gross, Food Justice Fellow

M.A. Candidate, Geography

Thomson has been affiliated with the Food Justice Lab since 2014 when he joined the WV FOODLINK project as a GIS analyst.  He played a major role in the development of www.foodlink.wvu.edu and the development of GIS applications and analysis for improving food access in WV. Thomson is also an M.A. student in Geography with an interest in critical GIS and participatory mapping.  He is currently working on a project in disability geographies that seeks to improve access for visually impaired pedestrians within the campus landscape.