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Food Justice

Too often it seems like a conversation around food security veers away from the reality of a conversation about food justice. The episode of this series that we watched was such a thoughtful examination of the origins of one battle in the fight for food justice and really examined what is and probably should not be a radical concept: that food should not be a privilege. This was the first statement made by panelist Ericka Huggins in this video, and a thread throughout the conversation. As a member of the Black Panther party, Huggins participated in the Free Breakfast program …

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Criminal Justice

The question asked at the beginning of “Black Lives and Police Tactics Matter” is whether the police are a source of public good or a perpetuating factor of racial inequality? After reading this article, listening to the episode of the Intercepted podcast, and following countless stories of police violence over the last decade, the answer is unequivocally the latter. I think an important place to start is with the point made at the end of this article, which is that the issue of racialized police brutality is actually so understudied and unfairly reported and documented that it is difficult to …

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Housing Justice

I found the zoning information packet from The Center of Urban Pedagogy to be extremely helpful and entertaining. There are so many terms in the world of housing and development that get used, and perhaps misused, regularly that I did not have a clear understanding of. In addition, some of these terms have a different connotation in New York because of all of the things that make the city a unique place to exist. For example, I’ve heard the term “mixed use” in the context of real estate development with reference to a building that has retail space on the …

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Environmental Justice

After reading David Pellow and Robert Brulle’s article titled “Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice” and listening to the American Dissected podcast episode “Unleaded”, I wonder if environmental justice is not the most pressing issue facing the world today. The first principle of the environmental justice (EJ) movement states that “all people have the right to protection from environmental harm” (37), but with so many elements of our environment out of our control, it seems that that right has been largely ignored.  If we are to be free from environmental harm, it seems that every other aspect of …

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Economic Justice

The articles we read this week outline the ways in which economic justice, or rather economic injustice, can play out in a person’s life, especially in the city. In the article by Formosa, Weber and Atkins titled “Gentrification and urban children’s well-being: Tipping the scales from problems to promise”, the authors go into great detail about the process by which the economic impact of gentrification has rippling effects for children growing up in an urban environment. According to the authors, gentrification has enormous social implications that translate to economic impacts. For example, the article discusses theories of “social capital”(400) that …

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Does the Right to the City Still Apply?

David Harvey’s article about a “right to the city” is an exploration of urban environments as a sort of ecosystem that seeks to regulate itself. The article describes issues of inequality that urbanization seeks to rectify in a way and primarily presents the idea that “urbanization is central to the survival of capitalism”. There is tension, in this description, between wants and needs in the urban space and the availability of those wanted or needed things. For example, the tension between unemployment and available employment. Harvey describes these as the coercive laws of competition. He also examines the parallels in …

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The Idea of Justice

In this week’s reading, the idea of justice itself is at the fore. In an excerpt from a chapter of Amartya Sen’s book, we read about two separate lines of reasoning for trying to understand the meaning of justice. One such line of reasoning is called “transcendental institutionalism”. This idea concentrates on getting the institutions of our society to be “right” in terms of justice and focuses less on the actual societal outcomes of participating within those institutions. The second line of reasoning that Sen discusses to set up his example is a “realization-focused comparison”. This concept takes a more …

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