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Spring 2023 Reading Group

Food System Workers

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This reading group will provide an overview of different sectors of the food system and how law and policy impact workers employed in those sectors. As the COVID-19 pandemic made palpable, the U.S. food system depends on the essential labor of these individuals. Despite the critical role they play, food system workers face some of the worst wages and working conditions in the country. A core facet of the reading group will be examining the role race and racism have had, and continue to have, in shaping this system. Assigned readings will primarily consist of articles, reports, and book excerpts from various experts in the field. While many different types of workers support the food system, we will focus specifically on agricultural workers, meatpacking and poultry processing workers, and restaurant industry workers. Students will also learn about and discuss opportunities to advance worker welfare, including through worker-led innovations and policy change.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 1/31, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/21, 3/28.