Student articles focus on housing insecurity, urban farming, and environmental justice

Two doctoral students in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently wrote articles focused on environmental justice that were featured in Environmental Health News’ Agents of Change series.

In an April 16, 2020 article, Mỹ Dzung Chu, PhD ’22, discussed the relationship between housing insecurity and health. People living with housing insecurity face a number of health issues, she wrote, noting that while traditional environmental health research on housing has led to major public health improvements, this research “can fall short of addressing the root causes of why low-income and communities of color continue to face homelessness, higher housing-cost burden, and poor housing conditions.”

In a May 27, 2020 article, Ashley Gripper, PhD ’23, discussed urban farming in black communities across the U.S. She described her research, which explores how urban agriculture impacts the mental health, spirituality, and collective agency of black communities, using analytical tools such as mapping, focus groups, and spatial analysis, as well as new survey and measurement tools specifically for these communities. Noting that urban agriculture has been touted as an innovative way to build community and fight food insecurity, she added that growing food has a larger purpose, functioning as “a tool for dismantling systemic oppression.”

Read the Environmental Health News articles:

Why housing security is key to environmental justice by Mỹ Dzung Chu

We don’t farm because it’s trendy; we farm as resistance, for healing and sovereignty by Ashley Gripper