“Eco-Justice” Helping Teens Situate and Interrogate School Knowledge
Julie H. Carter, The School of Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Abstract: The project under study is an environmental justice program that works to engage teens in a range of projects connected to “food security.” The program is located in a Northeast “Rust Belt” neighborhood described as among the most food insecure in the northeast. This ethnographic study explores student experiences during the winter months of the program - working on an urban farm, fishery, mobile green market, and an entrepreneurial food project. The paper explores the articulated knowledge that students gain from contributing to community food systems while advocating for social change agendas such as cuts in funding for youth programming. The connection between situated school knowledge, environmental activism, and urban identities are explored. The project under study has the potential to help teachers and teacher educators tackle a range of civic and economic issues including, but not limited to, food security and food systems, access to healthy food in urban areas, youth activism and urban revitalization.