Underserved Farmer Development Specialist, Center for Regional Food Systems
Academic Focus Area: Food Justice and Food Sovereignty
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Advisor: Kimberly Chung
Shakara is a mother, farmer, activist, and scholar-in-training. Before coming to MSU, she obtained her B.S. at The Pennsylvania State University in Agricultural Sciences and worked as an urban farm educator for a youth empowerment organization in Philadelphia, PA. She obtained her M.S. at MSU in the Department of Community Sustainability, focusing on Black farmers and civil rights. She is now pursing research in the arenas of food justice and food sovereignty, while working with under-served farmers around land, financial capital, and market accessibility. She currently employs decolonial and post-colonial theories in her work in food justice and sovereignty, which is approached through the intersectional relationship between race, class, and gender. As a community-engaged scholar, she is interested in using participatory action research as a way to build capacity within underserved communities and fully engage communities in the co-production of knowledge. She aspires to be a scholar-activist while continuing to farm, do research with communities, and most importantly continuing to learn new things every day about food, farming, research, and social justice.