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Week of January 14, 2013

Taylor to talk on race, poverty and access to food in America

Dorceta Taylor, a professor of Environmental Justice at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, is delivering the school’s annual MLK Lecture Jan. 21.

Taylor is an award-winning author on the subject of race and the environment. She is founder and director of the Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative, a research unit within SNRE that seeks to increase diversity in environmental organizations and in the broader environmental movement.

Her MLK Lecture is titled “Race, Poverty, and Access to Food in America: Resistance, Survival, and Sustainability.” It begins at 5 p.m. in Room 1040, Dana Building. It will be followed by a question-and-answer session and is open to the public.

She is the principal investigator on a recently awarded five-year, $4 million study of disparities in access to healthy food across the state of Michigan. The research team will interview residents and study data in 18 small to mid-sized cities to better understand the factors affecting “food security,” a socioeconomic term that


defines easy access to safe and healthy food. “The study will give us an opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of several types of food systems in the state,” Taylor said. “The study is unique in that we will examine aspects of the food system that are necessary to connect food to consumers more efficiently.”


Her other recent research activities include an analysis of the green jobs sector and four national studies of racial and gender diversity in the environmental field. Her 2009 book, “The Environment and the People in American Cities,” won an award from the American Sociological Association. In 2010, she completed an edited volume titled, “Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective.”

She has recently completed a book to be published in 2013 titled, “Why Don’t They Move? Race, Space, Residential Mobility, and Environmental Hazards.”


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