Free class series in Ann Arbor aims to shed light on food justice movement

This Friday Ann Arbor's Canterbury House will host the first installment of a free, four-class series designed to cultivate awareness and a deeper understanding of the food justice movement.


Food justice educator Estelle Slootmaker will lead the People’s Food Co-Op-sponsored series, titled The Many Facets of Food Justice. She is the communications manager of Our Kitchen Table, a women-of-color-led Grand Rapids nonprofit that works for food and environmental justice. (Slootmaker is also the development news editor for Rapid Growth Media, Concentrate's sister publication in Grand Rapids.)


"A textbook definition of food justice I refer to is: the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed, and eaten," she says.


Class attendees will leave with an understanding of what food justice is, but will also have the opportunity to work on developing their own personal definitions of this multi-dimensional subject.


Additionally, Slootmaker intends to highlight how food injustices unfairly impact people with income challenges and will discuss the human rights aspect of access to healthy food.


Her goal is to start a meaningful dialogue and launch effective local community action plans. She says building an equitable alternative to the current food system is one of the most effective ways to build happier and healthier communities.


"The industrial food system hurts us all, from the workers in the fields to consumers in every demographic," Slootmaker says.


The first class will be held on Dec. 14 at Canterbury House, 721 E. Huron St. in Ann Arbor. The session runs from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.


Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at


Photos courtesy of Estelle Slootmaker.

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