The concept of food justice argues that a history of structural gender and class inequities, and racially motivated policies have excluded marginalized communities from easy access to healthy foods, as described by Kirsten Cadieux and Rachel Slocum in “What does it mean to do food justice?” The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues, exposing the severe social inequality in our nation. In light of this, the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) will host a writing contest to amplify the voices of the UC Berkeley student community on the topic of the intersections of food justice and COVID-19. This is a chance for you to share your voice and bring to light issues that you care about deeply.

The submission deadline is March 31, 2021, 5 p.m. Pacific Time. At the end of the contest, all valid submissions will be collected on the BFI website for public viewing. If you choose, BFI will also support winning students in trying to place their pieces in off-campus publications, as well as those on campus, such as the Daily Cal and The Leaflet.

Submissions Categories

  • For personal narratives, please write about what the topic of food justice means to you, how COVID-19 has impacted your daily life, and/or your ability to secure healthy food.
  • For reported articles, please write about what food systems issues COVID-19 has exposed or exacerbated in your community. These should include interviews and data as relevant.

These prompts are provided as a guideline and starting point. Feel free to expand beyond these prompts as desired.

Submission Rules

This contest is open to currently matriculated UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students. Entry is free. All writing pieces should be between 750–2000 words in length. However, keep in mind that publishing guidelines usually limit submissions to under 1000 words, in case efforts at external publication are desired.

Visit the Berkeley Food Institute website to apply.