Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Mary Alice Reilly '13


Mary Alice Reilly '13 is an Environmental Studies concentrator interested in sustainable agriculture and regional food systems. In collaboration with Professor Kathryn DeMaster and partners at John Hope Settlement House (JHSH), Mary Alice is using her hands-on experience as John Hope’s school garden manager and garden educator to inform her research on urban agriculture (UA) and food justice (FJ). What are the intersections of UA and FJ, particularly in the U.S.? And how can various forms of UA contribute to realizing FJ at John Hope? Given the content of numerous surveys and interviews conducted this summer, Mary Alice and JHSH community members both recognize the untapped potential for UA- beyond the school gardens- to impact the broader JHSH community. As such, Mary Alice shifted her focus to identifying the potential opportunities and challenges for establishing other forms of UA at JHSH, particularly the remediation and development of an adjacent brownfield site into additional food production space. Recommendations for UA development and planning at JHSH may contribute important insights to grassroots organizing, community development and/or policy for leading UA, FJ and policy organizations that influence the regional and national food system.