A Vision to Support Thriving Desert Economies
August 23, 2022
by Evan Storey and Zulema Valdez Hamed
There are many other dryland regions, but no other as inspiring as Tucson and the surrounding borderlands. In fact, drylands comprise 41% of the Earth’s land surface, a number that is growing as the encroaching threat of desertification threatens the livelihoods of nearly two billion people in over 100 countries (UN source). Since we all need to prepare for an uncertain future, we might as well embrace it as promoters and pioneers of what it means to thrive in a desert community....
What’s With Wheat? A Comparative Study of Heritage and Modern Wheat By Amrita Khalsa (BA Food Studies student)
August 22, 2022
By Amrita Khalsa
Wheat is one of the most widely eaten foods in the world. Through a semester-long capstone project, I researched the vast topic of wheat and its impact on human health and the environment. My research explores the differences between heritage wheat varieties cultivated over millennia with that of modern wheat, which has been highly altered through industrialized agriculture. I analyze how heritage wheat varieties can benefit biodiverse ecosystems as well as human health. I consider the accessibility and usability of heritage wheat varieties and its possible benefits compared to the modern wheat flour most common in grocery stores....
Two New Health and Wellness Resources to Support Communities of Color in Arizona
March 10, 2022
By Desiree Hammond, Program Manager, The Dunbar Pavillion
The Dunbar Wellness Project is a collaboration between the Dunbar Coalition, El Rio Health Center, the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness, and the UA Center for Regional Food Studies. In 2019, the Dunbar Pavilion, along with its collaborative partners, received a seed grant from the Agnese Nelms Haury Foundation to design, implement, and evaluate a two-year health and wellness education project and to create spaces that center Black health and wellness.
Educational and hands-on workshops and symposiums were offered free to the Tucson Community 2 to 3 times per month in 2019, and transitioned into virtual programming for the 2020-2021 year. Topics included: racial justice, reproductive justice, grief, herbal and plant medicine making, supporting Black local creatives, and a BIPOC book club. The Haury seed grant also funded the creation of two projects:
- an online resource known as the Arizona Black Health Directory developed by The Dunbar Pavilion and the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness. This directory is designed to connect community members in Arizona to Black health and wellness medical and non-medical practitioners and resources. As of 2019, less than 5% of Arizona residents identified as Black. This means that in the state of Arizona, Black people not only struggle to find Black community and culture, but we/they also struggle to find medical providers and non-medical practitioners who share our/their identity.
- The Dunbar Pavilion Plant Guide: in partnership with the University of Arizona’s Associate Professor, Dr. Patricia Gonzales, the guide was created to provide a written inventory of the native plants growing on the Dunbar property and garden space, and to describe their medicinal uses. The goal is that this guide be used as a means to increase knowledge and agency among people of color, and to share ancestral modes of mental, physical, and spiritual healing to support nourishing and life-affirming practices.
We hope these resources continue to benefit communities of color in Arizona and beyond.
The UArizona Campus Pantry during the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 12, 2021
This month marks one year since the Coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, made its landfall in the United States. Like most colleges and universities across the nation, the UArizona switched to remote learning, cancelled in-person programming, and closed buildings across campus in an effort to help students, faculty, and staff stay safe. The implications of and responses to this institution-wide crisis have varied widely according to each unit’s mission, operational needs, and limitations. Some student affairs areas and units were able to shift their operations to online platforms. However, others, such as the UArizona Campus Pantry, were not able to “go virtual.” ...
Panel Event: COVID-19 and Impacts on Our Local Food System
November 12, 2020
On October 21, the UA Center for Regional Food Studies (CRFS) hosted a panel event titled, “COVID-19 and Our Local Food System: How Do We Respond?” Co-hosted by the UA Museum of Art, Tucson City of Gastronomy, and Tucson Meet Yourself, this event brought together a variety of food system researchers and practitioners...
A Reprise of Marrying Agriculture, Nutrition and Health after a 40-year Separation
October 27, 2020
I’ve been around a while and can remember the second half the 20th century when important independent developments took place to improve the nutrition and health of the world’s poor. The Green Revolution focused on increasing the production of grains in order to supply energy and protein to the world’s poor and the World Health Organization’s 1978 Alma Ata Declaration encouraged primary care as the main pathway for improving nutritional status and developing economic growth in low and middle income countries...
"Making Space" as Strategy for Advancing a New Vision of Health for Black People
September 25, 2020
The Dunbar Wellness Project (DWP), a partnership between Tucson’s Dunbar Pavilion and the UA Center for Regional Food Studies, consists of workshops, lectures, and asset-mapping exercises that collectively promote ancestral and holistic approaches to health and wellness, alternative and complementary medicine, the connection of health to the environment and community, and nourishing diets...