Dr. Plaxedes Chitiyo is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability with research interests in urban agriculture, green space development, environmental policy, and environmental justice. She has carried out collaborative research on urban agriculture in Pittsburgh, and the greater Pittsburgh area with local gardens and non-profit organizations looking at underlying issues in urban community gardens development, food insecurity, and food apartheid. Her most recent work was on the development of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Action Plan, an initiative led by the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. In her presentation, “Steel City reinventing itself? Urban agriculture perspectives from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,” she will discuss how Pittsburgh, a city with a dirty industrial past is reinventing itself through sustainable initiatives such as urban agriculture.
Dr. Marianne LeGreco is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UNCG. Her work on food and communication has appeared in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Management Communication Quarterly, and the American Journal of Public Health. She is also the co-author, with Dr. Niesha Douglas, of the upcoming book Everybody Eats: Communication and the Paths to Food Justice. For the past 13 years, Dr. LeGreco has worked with numerous partners across Greensboro and Guilford County to address food systems, food security, and food hardship in our communities. She has partnered on efforts including community gardens and urban farms, mobile farmers markets, local food councils, and shared-use kitchens. Dr. LeGreco’s contribution to this particular conversation will consider how strengthening Greensboro’s local food and communication infrastructure over the last 10 years helped communities in their responses around COVID-19. In her presentation, “We Still Have to Eat: Considering Sustainability Across Local Food Systems During COVID-19,” she will highlight some of her recent research with Greensboro’s Corner Farmers Market, which is a partnership supported by the National Communication Association’s Center for Communication, Community Collaboration, and Change.