Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality
Ecological Feminist Flourishing in the Roots of Grace Lee Bogg’s Legacy: (Re) imagining Sustainable Feminist Activism
Dr. Cecilia Herles
Can grassroots ecofeminist movements promote food justice and sustain intergenerational knowledge production and activism? To address this question, I analyze feminist theorists-activists Val Plumwood, Wangari Maathaai, and Vandana Shiva in connection to the legacy of Grace Lee Boggs. I examine why Grace Lee Boggs emphasized urban gardens as a pivotal location for the possibilities for a paradigm shift. Urban and student run gardens can nourish the community and point towards the feminist futures we hope to cultivate for the next generation. The challenges of the pandemic illustrate the relevance of feminist food studies considering those who perform most of the work surrounding food are not fully heard or visible yet often face risks to their well-being, such as food insecurity, barriers to reproductive health, and higher rates of illness and mortality. I will highlight a wide range of issues such as the role of anti-immigration policies and notions of citizenship in the context of food production, the global politics of patenting seeds and marketing of pesticides as they relate to reproductive justice and health, the impact of climate change and global trade on subsistence agricultural practices, and the practices of food apartheid found in “real food” deserts found alongside the abundance of desserts. These are some of the complex ways in which power is exercised through food production and connected to the body and gender, race, and class. In conclusion, I assert that Grace Lee Boggs’ legacy of theoretical-activist work is a recipe for transformative ecological feminist social justice.
keywords: activism, ecofeminism, food, health, politics.