Setting the Table for Food Justice: The Role of Community-Engaged Research

Dr. Tammara Soma, Co-Founder and Research Director of Food Systems Lab, was the feature speaker for a President’s Faculty Lecture on Tuesday November 23. Here are some highlights from the event.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Who has a seat at the food policy table and who gets to define the problem and shape the solutions when it comes to addressing issues such as food insecurity?

These are some of the questions that I seek to answer with my colleagues and students at SFU’s Food Systems Lab. Applying community-engaged research methods, this woman-led research lab is focused on centring equity, justice, and particularly the voices of Indigenous partners in shaping our collective vision to achieve sustainable, decolonized and just food systems for all. Informed by the Islamic and Indigenous teachings that food is medicine, I will showcase why worldviews matter when it comes to planning for food.

Insights from citizen scientists will demonstrate why food is more than just a commodity. Rather, food represents family, identity, culture and spirituality.

— Tammara Soma

SPEAKER

Tammara Soma (MCIP, RPP) is an assistant professor at SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management and the research director of SFU’s Food Systems Lab. Canadian Organic Growers named Food Systems Lab as one of four “women-run projects that are redefining agriculture.” Originally hailing from Indonesia, Soma conducts research on issues pertaining to food system planning and the circular economy. Soma is a co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Food Waste and was selected as a committee member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the consensus study “A National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste at the Consumer Level.”

PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S FACULTY LECTURES

The President’s Faculty Lectures shine a light on the research excellence at Simon Fraser University. Hosted by SFU president Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and faculty that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts. Each short lecture by an SFU researcher will be followed by a conversation with Joy Johnson and an audience Q&A.
This year, lecturers will approach the themes of equity and justice from a variety of disciplines.

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