Justin Sean Myers (PhD, CUNY) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fresno State.
His work investigates the relationship between oppression and resistance through exploring how social movements are utilizing food as a means to address social, economic, and environmental injustice. As part of this work, he examines the conflicts emerging between activists, community-based organizations, corporations, and the state over how to define food justice, frame the roots of food injustice, and put forth concrete solutions to realize a just and sustainable food system. In particular, he analyzes the mobilizing grievances, political opportunity structures, resource mobilization capacities, and political tactics (routine, contentious, or market) of social movement actors, inquiring as to how these aspects shape their ability to base build, form coalitions, and flex power.
His primary research project is focused on East New York Farms! (ENYF!), a longstanding food justice organization in the Black, Caribbean, and Latinx community of East New York, Brooklyn, and analyzes their efforts to build a community food system premised on farmers markets, urban farms, and market-oriented community gardens to address a legacy of social, economic, and ecological disinvestment. This work has engaged with the conflict between non-profit organizations and philanthropic funders, the relationship between community gardening and municipal disinvestment, the role of the state in supporting farmers markets in low-income communities, whether Walmart can be a solution to food access problems, and the role of redlining and planned shrinkage in producing communities with food access barriers.
He is currently writing a book for Rutgers University Press about this experience under the working title Beyond Access: Food Justice and Urban Agriculture in Brooklyn. His work has also appeared in the journals Agriculture & Human Values, Geoforum, and Environmental Sociology, the books Ten Lessons in Introductory Sociology (Oxford University Press), Class: The Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell), and Revolting New York (University of Georgia Press), and will soon be appearing in the book Twenty Lessons in the Sociology of Food and Agriculture (Oxford University Press).