Originally from Denver, Colorado, Aliyah Fard recently graduated with a B.A. in environmental politics from Whitman College. Aliyah has always been interested in the overlap between environmental issues and racial injustices and her interest particularly in food justice and equity was ignited by working with organizations that collaborate with multiple farms around Denver where Aliyah grew and distributed food in low income neighborhoods, particularly in food apartheids. As an undergraduate, Aliyah focused her efforts on exploring the structural forms behind environmental issues and the ways in which People of Color interact with land and food. As the climate crisis becomes more of a threat, Aliyah is interested in exploring the politics of food and as an Emerson Fellow, Aliyah hopes to amplify vulnerable voices in marginalized communities to create more sustainable and equitable food systems that can survive the impacts climate change will bring to our lives more drastically.
Field placement: Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Aliyah is working at the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) in Chicago. She is specifically working on the Metro Chicago’s Good Food Purchasing Initiative where she is helping to update a visual networking map of food serving institutions and contracts. The goal is the map is to provide information to food producers and providers who are interested in selling to, or working with the Good Food Purchasing Initiative. The map shares companies that currently supply or operate public food environments in an interactive, user friendly and transparent way.
Policy placement: Alliance to End Hunger
Aliyah's policy placement is at the Alliance to End Hunger, a coalition focused on building the capacity of member organizations and allies through providing resources, information, tools, and advocacy opportunities. Aliyah's work plan focuses on the Alliance's racial equity efforts where she is facilitating community engagement discussions, racial wealth gap simulations and advancing the ‘Hunger is a Racial Equity Issue’. This piece will provide additional educational materials exposing the higher rates of food insecurity for African Americans, Indigenous and Latino households when compared to white households, promote solutions focused on racial equity, and build support for these solutions among Alliance members, allies and elected officials.