We would like to congratulate Charisma Acey, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at DCRP, on her new appointment as the Faculty Director of the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI). Professor Acey will bring her expertise on food systems planning, sustainable urbanism, and environmental justice to BFI, which is dedicated to expanding access to healthy and affordable food, empowering food systems leaders, and promoting sustainable, equitable, and diverse food systems.
Through research, education, community initiatives and public conversations about food security, justice, and policy, BFI serves as a critical resource for food systems-related efforts for the entire UC Berkeley campus.
“I am so excited about taking on this role with BFI and bringing environmental design and planning to questions of food justice,” says Professor Acey.
As the new Faculty Director, she will continue BFI’s important operations, providing insight from her own work in global food justice issues and local and regional environmental sustainability, as well as her background in poverty reduction, equal access to basic services, urban governance, and agroecology.
She has six years of experience doing international work for relief and development NGOs in Africa, Central America and South America. She has also worked on participatory re-zoning for healthy food systems and sustainability planning in the East Bay, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon.
The connection between food justice and environmental justice has become pronounced in the face of climate change, political turbulence, and structural inequities, making the role of BFI more important than ever.
“We are committed to centering racial justice in all aspects of our work to transform the industrial agri-food system in ways that heal and protect our urban and rural ecological landscapes and promote a healthy and just society,” Professor Acey said.
We look forward to hearing about BFI’s work in transformative food systems change in the future! Read more about Professor Acey’s appointment and BFI’s new leadership here.