A recent article by CSWS affiliate Sarah Stapleton, assistant professor of education studies, profiles a local group of Eugene women who have been activists for school food for many years and finally saw major success, yet didn’t receive any credit. Stapleton’s article redresses that through a gendered analysis of their story and struggles.
In “Nevertheless, they persisted: How a group of ‘noisy moms’ overcame dismissal and helped to improve school food in a US small city school district,” Stapleton’s analysis highlights some ways the mothers’ efforts to improve school food were discounted. She consider factors that contributed to their sidelining, noting that even deeply knowledgeable, active, and involved parents may be unable to impact major and/or immediate changes in school food, and that mothers can be discounted because of their positionality as mothers. She shares how, through long-term persistence, the women created a path for progress that ultimately led to major change in the district’s school food, yet their key role in laying groundwork for the change remained largely unrecognized.
UO Food Studies awarded the group’s founder, Carrie Frazier, an activism award in February for her decade of work to improve school food for all kids in the 4j School District.
The full article can be accessed here: Stapleton, S.R. (2020). “Nevertheless, they persisted: How a group of ‘noisy moms’ overcame dismissal and helped to improve school food in a US small city school district,” Gender, Place & Culture, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2019.1710475