What is your professional title?
I am the founder of FHEED (Food for Health, the Environment, Economy and Democracy).
What is FHEED?
FHEED is a food systems planning firm that assists community-based organizations, local governments and local businesses in planning, GIS analysis, research, advocacy and education. Please visit fheed.com to learn more.
How did you transition from graduating from the MURP program in 2011 to founding FHEED so quickly?
My 2nd-year Panning Project focused on food systems planning, and the framework for FHEED was ultimately developed through that work.
How long have you been interested in urban food systems?
Initially my interest was in environmental planning, sustainable cities, etc. I was exposed to urban farming while in studying in Los Angeles; my current passion for it blossomed while in the MURP program.
What was your experience like in the MURP program?
There was an incredibly strong network of student peers in my class that challenged and supported each other, in and out of the classroom, throughout our two years in the program. And conversely, the faculty really challenged us to inspire ourselves from within. It was a dynamic environment that I thrived in. The theoretical base emphasized in the 1st year of the program gave me a framework to build upon my own desired area of concentration in the 2nd year. Once I found food systems planning to be the concentration I was looking for, I was able to dedicate myself to the subject and prepare myself for a career in it.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I hope to have a thriving planning firm that focuses not only on food systems but also the intersection of human and planetary rights and planning. Following John Friedmann's advise, I would like to help social movements and planning merge together as force for the common good. I believe food is good place for such a collaboration to begin.