In the final decades of the last century, against the background of widening economic inequality and growing health crises, New Yorkers sparked a nationwide food justice movement. Organizing school lunch campaigns, establishing food co-ops, lobbying city officials, and raising public awareness, citizen-activists made food a political issue. The charismatic, often female leaders of these campaigns were often products of earlier movements: from communism to civil rights to second-wave feminism. In her new work, Stirrings, the first book-length history of food activism in a major U.S. city, Lana Dee Povitz examines the intimate world of this diverse social movement, the colorful characters who built and sustained it, and how it continued to thrive, despite divisions of race and class, and the challenges posed by stagnating wages and waves of austerity. Craig Willingham, Deputy Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, joins in conversation.
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Sponsored by the Gotham Center for NYC History