COMM 114J FINAL PROJECT, Spring 2019
Due: Thurs., June 6, 2019 (hard copy in class at 3:30pm, online copy too). 40% of Course Grade
YOUR FINAL PROJECT HAS THREE PARTS:
1. Food Justice Case Description: Select and describe an intervention anywhere in the food system
that aims to improve food justice (250 words, 5%)
2. Analytical Narrative: Discuss why you choose this particular food justice case, beginning with a
100-word ABT story. The ABT story (5%) plus the analytical narrative (15%) should add up to 750
words (give or take a few words).
3. A Creative Product with Message (a 250-word message to your target audience, and your creative
product including a 100-word creative product description + image 15%)
Once you complete all three parts, upload them all at once (as a batch), using our google classroom website.
Also turn in a hard copy to us in class at 3:30pm on Thurs., June 6, 2019. Format: For the written parts, use
1-inch margins all around, 12-point Times New Roman font, single spaced. The main Creative Product can
take many forms, not just written (e.g., video, flyer, illustration). Submit only your analytical narrative to
turnitin on Triton ED.
1. Food Justice Case Description (250 words, 5%)
Choose a FOOD JUSTICE CASE that you (and two or more academic researchers) find worth
examining and communicating about because the case illustrates a noteworthy effort aimed at
understanding and/or improving food justice. The “case” must be exemplary instance of some
intervention in the food system. Could be a marketing campaign, project, program, law, regulation,
social movement, community garden, food festival, food art, research project, blog, foodshed council,
alliance, network, theatre performance, video, multimedia, song, etc.
Describe your case in 250 words using the following structure: (you can do this in a list format using
the headers below; it does not need to be in the form of an narrative essay).
Top of the page: Include your Food Justice Case title (e.g., Urban Agriculture as a Rooted
Neighborhood Approach to Improving Food Justice), your name and date.
One Photo or Illustration, with title and source, to help the reader get a sense of your case.
Drivers: Who are the leaders at the heart of the case? If there are no identifiable leaders,
what entity or entities are responsible for making it happen (e.g., civic organizations, nonprofits, business, government, faith-based groups, academic, tribes)?
Purpose: What are those responsible for the case trying to accomplish, why, for who?
Location/Scale: Does this case have a particular location (local neighborhood, rural farm,
building wall or roof, city, country) or does it transcend borders as a global or regional
Most significant successes, failures, or questions raised. List one or more of the most
notable features of the case with respect to, for instance, lessons learned, discoveries made,
changes accomplished. This can be descriptive only since you’ll get be analytical in the
second “analytical narrative” part of the assignment.
Provide pathways to learn more about the case specifically and/or the subject matter more
generally: Include (a) one relevant website or video, (b) two published academic sources
(e.g., research-based journal articles or books), and (c) one public source (e.g., a government
report, newspaper account, blog, community newsletter).
2. Analytical Narrative (750 words total, includes the 100-word ABT, 20% total)
This part of the assignment challenges you to get analytical–i.e., use concepts to say something
meaningful about your case. Explain why you choose to focus on this case and creative product. What do
you and others (e.g., researchers, policy makers, government officials, community leaders,
participants) see as the case’s merits, strengths, impacts, potential risks or limitations? Based on what
kind of evidence? Write your response to these questions in a narrative format that analyzes your case in
light of content discussed in COMM 114J (e.g., concepts, theories, ideas, learning objectives, etc.).
You have a lot of flexibility here. See the guide at the very end of this doc for ideas.
An excellent analytical narrative will meet all of the following objectives (the criteria by which we will
grade this part of your assignment)
1. You place at the top of your analytical narrative a condensed 100-word ABT story that sets the
stage for your analytical narrative –the and and, but, therefore bit.
2. You introduce and analyze your case (i.e., you shed light on some notable aspect of it using concepts and
evidence derived from COMM 114J content.
3. Your analysis includes a point of view, a reasoned position or argument about the case and the
rationale for your creative product (this part is crucial, it’s the beating heart of your analytical
4. You include a bibliography that cites at least two scholarly publications, and one non-academic
written sources (e.g., a newspaper article, government or industry report).
5. The total length is 750 words not including the bibliography.
3. A Creative Product with Message (a 250-word message to your target audience, and your
creative product including a 100-word creative product description +image, 15%)
Produce a creative product that supports the therefore part of your case. The “support” can take many
forms, including but not limited to: (a) raising public awareness and understanding your case; (b)
inspiring, encouraging, incentivizing communities --public and/or private—to get involved with the
intervention or action you are drawing attention to or supporting; (c) providing content useful for
research and/or education purposes; (d) helping frame the case for a transformative campaign or social
movement, (e) help give rise to a legislative or institutional initiative that supports a localization of
climate change mitigation and/or adaptation.
The Creative Product itself can also take many forms, including but not limited to the following: (a) an
original video, poster, artwork, story; song; (b) an agenda for a workshop or play, (c) a written
technical report targeting leadership; (d) a newsletter targeting some segment of the public; (e) talking
points for a door-to-door campaign in a neighborhood, (f) a blog, multimedia GIS based storymap, or
some other form of interactive social media.
You must upload onto our google classroom website your Creative Product, or some facsimile of it.
For instance, if you choose to do a video, then upload a link to your video on YouTube. If you choose
to do a report, story, workshop agenda or some other text, then upload it as a doc or pdf file. If you
choose to do an illustration, poster, art piece then upload it as an image file or pdf. If you chose to do
something active (i.e., you want to get credit for actually doing something in the world like running a
meeting, or helping organize a public event or workshop) you’ll need to upload sufficient details
describing said activity; so we can credit you accordingly (e.g., when and where the activity took
place, who participated, some basic level of assessment—was it worth the effort, why or why not).
250-word message to your target audience,
Create a memo to an organization of your choice who you think would benefit from your creative work.
MEMO INSRTRUCTIONS (Use the header format above. It is very important that you have a clear sense
of the target audience for your solution/creative product. You don’t actually have to send this memo to
anyone. But you certainly can. We will be collecting some messages, from those of you who want to
participate, as a group and send them to the “audience” we identified in COMM 114J (e.g., the Global
Action Research Center working with UC San Diego’s Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science,
Planning and Design).
Write your message in the style of a letter that explains the intent and utility of your creative product.
Specifically, cover the following points using the message template below:
Organization X (e.g., The Global ARC)
Your Name and affiliation (e.g., Jane Comm, Student Researcher, UC San Diego)
Memo’s purpose (e.g., A Food Forest Video for Food Justice)
June 6, 2019
I am writing to share with you a
(title of your creative product).
I chose to create this product as a way to support
justice effort, its significance).
(provide a few sentences about your targeted food
Describe in a few sentences your creative product (e.g., poster, video, agenda for a special event, etc)
including how it may be used.
In one sentence note how what you created is in partial fulfillment of a course you are taking at UC San
Diego (offered by the Urban Studies and Planning Program) focused on supporting food justice.
Provide your heart and mind pitch (i.e., your appeal for their attention, your request for them to take you and
your valuable contribution seriously). This is the beating heart of your memo. In a few sentences give your
targeted organization a message they will feel compelled to respond to –because it comes across as
informed, significant, useful and timely. The “informed” part should refer to some kind of evidence-based
research, theory, known best practice (e.g., include a pithy, jargon free claim based on the theoretical
proposition or transformational idea you developed in your analytical narrative).
End by saying you’d be happy to share your creative product upon request. Note a way they can reach you.
Tell them to see your attachment for more detail.
Attachment: Title of your Creative Product (add your attachment)
Your name and contact info
100-word creative product synopsis + image
Describe your creative product: what it is, how it addresses food justice, who it is intended to benefit,
and how it might best be used. Also note at the end of your description the process by which you
created the product (how you came up with the idea and if you involved your intended
beneficiary/audience in the designing/making of it)? You can use some of the same sentences in this as
you use in your memo, or that you put in your analytical narrative. Some repetition is ok.
Below is an example of an image of a creative product:
GUIDE to SELECTING YOUR FOOD JUSTICE TOPIC
Choose a FOOD JUSTICE TOPIC that you (and others) find worth examining and communicating about because
the topic’s subject matter can help us understand and/or improve food justice. What kinds of food justice
topics might you consider? There are many. As a starting point, put your thinking cap on and use this
definition of “Food Justice” as your guide:
“Food Justice seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown,
produced, transported, distributed, accessed and eaten are shared fairly“(Gottlieb and Joshi 2010, p.
Gottlieb and Joshi’s definition fits well with the Community and Regional Food Systems (CRFS) Framework that
Ventura and Bailkey (2017:20) illustrate in their book Good food, strong communities : promoting social
justice through local and regional food systems (a required text in our COMM 114J course). For your essay
assignment we want you to select and position your food justice topic using the CRFS Framework. See the
Figure 2. Community and Regional Food Systems Framework (Ventura and Bailkey 2017)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sources of inspiration: Below are two excepts from your readings that spell out a broad range of
collective endeavors aimed at promoting food justice.
Vodeb, Oliver, and Rok Klemencic. 2017. Food democracy : critical lessons in food, communication, design and art, Socially responsive
communication, design and art : memefest interventions. Bristol, UK ; Chicago, USA: Intellect.
Organic food with attached values that prohibit the use of toxic substances and GMO
components and promote more humane treatment of animals is becoming mainstream.
Urban gardens are growing around the world; food as a topic is getting high attention in
design, art and social sciences, with whole new university degrees focusing on ‘food systems’
Awareness of locally grown, home cooked food is more present than ever.
[A group is creating] public interventions through placing fruit-bearing branches onto non-fruitbearing, ornamental fruit trees in the streets of San Francisco.
Street food brings the world’s cuisine at affordable prices to every corner of our cities and food
design is becoming its own area of academic investigation.
Food has long been the subject matter of artists, and galleries are devoting big exhibitions to
Farmers around the world are organizing protests, many times using network-based
technologies, while restaurants incorporate a sense of politics, social and environmental
responsibility in their business models.
Global protests have cut Monsanto’s (the leading producer of genetically engineered seed)
profits by 34 per cent in 2015, and radical networks are distributing food from food banks and
other sources to those in need.
Under a law set to crack down on epidemic food waste alongside the context of raising food
poverty, France has prohibited supermarkets from throwing away or destroying food; instead
they must donate waste to charities, food banks or for animal feed.
Italy has made the stealing of food legal if done out of severe hunger.
A growingly evident, visible presence and role of food in our everyday lives makes everyday
people experts on the complex importance of our relation to food.
Ventura, Steve, and Martin Bailkey. 2017. Good food, strong communities : promoting social justice through
local and regional food systems. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
One way to address food security and food justice challenges is to change food systems:
• rebuild connections between people and agriculture,
• rejuvenate curricula so children know about food,
• rethink supply chain logistics, reorient corporations to serve people,
• reform laws that now create incentives for the dysfunctional aspects of food systems,
• renew respect for the central role that food plays in society. (p. 16)
Change in our food systems will happen in myriad ways,
• through on-the ground innovations and new practices,
• new ways of processing and delivering food,
• changes in public policies and programs,
• changes in institutional behaviors, and many other ways. (p. 16)
Food justice can be strengthened by way of improving food security, food access, wages for those who grow,
process and prepare food, and many other ways. Ventura and Bailkey (2017) make the following point about
food and nutrition security that may also help you come up with a food justice storyline for your essay. Efforts
to promote food and nutrition security can also be viewed as efforts to improve food justice.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has an extensive discussion of terminology related to food
and nutrition security (Committee on World Food Security 2012). It concludes, “Food and nutrition
security exists when all people at all times have physical, social, and economic access to food, which is safe
and consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences, and is
supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services, and care, allowing for a healthy and
active life.” The FAO uses the terms adequate, available, and accessible as shorthand for this definition.
We extend this definition to what we call the five As of food security, specifically aimed at a community
• Available. Community and regional production, processing, and distribution.
• Affordable. Reasonable real and perceived costs to the populations in
• Accessible. Food for people in stores, restaurants, markets, shelters, and
• Appropriate. Nutritious, safe, culturally relevant, appealing food.
• Acceptable. Sustainable environmental, social, and economic effects of all components.(p.
Another good list of documented (food justice enhancing) strategies to help you focus comes from the FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2019. FAO Framework for the Urban
Food Agenda: Leveraging sub-national and local government action to ensure sustainable
food systems and improved nutrition. . Rome. Italy: United Nations; Sustainable
VI. DELIVERING THE URBAN FOOD ACTION PROGRAMME THROUGH COMPREHENSIVE AREAS OF SUPPORT (p.
CAS 1: Effective national urban and territorial policies and transformative institutions to
enhance sustainable food systems 26
CAS 2: Integrated food system planning and inclusive food governance mechanisms to
support sustainable urbanization and territorial development 27
CAS 3: Short supply chains and inclusive public food procurement to untap the potential of
production in the city and surrounding region 29
CAS 4: Innovative and sustainable agro-food business for employment generation and the
development of functional and prosperous territories across small towns 30
CAS 5: Improved access to food and green environments for healthy cities 32
CAS 6: Optimized supply chains and circular bioeconomy for reduction of food losses and
waste in urban centers 33
CAS 7: Evidence-based outreach initiatives to improve global urban food governance and to
boost investment 35
WRITING YOUR ESSAY (STORY): SOURCES AND NARRATIVE
• Include at least 4 scholarly sources (academic publications) in your essay. At least two of
these sources must be from your list of COMM 114J readings. All 4 of the sources can be
from your required readings; but depending on what food justice promoting example you
choose you may need to site sources not among the COMM 114J readings.
• You may also include as many non-academic sources as you deem fit (e.g., newspaper
articles, government documents, websites, films, databases).
• Very Important: We expect you to engage the readings, not just cite them. Weave the
readings into your narrative; make them part of your story (not simply an add on).
NARRATIVE STRUCTURE (use the And-But-Therefore/ ABT template described below)
ABT: The And-But-Therefore Template
Randy Olson’s And-But-Therefore (ABT) narrative template provides a good way to organize your
essay. Think of your essay as a story. Think of yourself as the storyteller. We will rehearse this
approach to research communication and storytelling in class. Randy Olson. 2015. Houston, We
Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
All 3 parts of the template (AND, BUT, THEREFORE) are important. There is no set rule on how
much of your story should be focused each part. For this assignment, let’s say most of your essay
should fall within the THEREFORE section (60%) with roughly 20% going to each of the other two
sections (AND, BUT).
1. AND, AND. Open your story with a strong statement that places your food justice promoting
example (happening in the food system supply chain element you selected) in a meaningful
context. What is it about the food justice organization or activity that is worth paying attention to
and understanding? Here is an example that looks at a food justice promoting effort (planting a
food forest in an urban food desert) in the context of agricultural production:
Urban agriculture in the form of food forests benefits people and the planet. Food
forests produce fruits and nuts This produce can provide people in underserved
communities with more equitable access to healthy food, thereby increasing food
justice. T ...
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