Stronach Prize Winners

Advancing Food Security in West Oakland's Wood Street Encampment

Cob On Wood is a commons space located on the land underneath the I-880, in West Oakland. Cob On Wood challenges the current urban condition through a bottom-up approach to transforming urban space, based on the practices of mutual aid and collective action. The project seeks to provide new possibilities for unhoused and curbside community residents along Wood Street in West Oakland and serve as a model for a site-specific intervention that questions how common resources and community resilience can be generated and maintained. It is a collective made up of residents, artists, and organizers, including groups Essential Food and Medicine, Artists Building Communities, and Living Earth Structures, and Wood St People’s Collective. Since January of 2021 Cob On Wood has constructed a community kitchen, showers, a free store, and a clinic, where a variety of plant medicines and treatments, such as tinctures, wound care, and massage has been offered. […]

...Read More about Kyla Whitmore (2021)

Tú eres Tú/You are You: A Zine Building Course for Latina/x/o Foster Youth

In Michael’s senior year at Cal, he conducted an Ethnic Studies senior honors thesis that gained the support of the Ronald E. McNair and Robert and Colleen Haas Scholars programs. His project explored the impact the child welfare system has on Latina/x/o cultural and family identity development. Michael’s research data highlighted an internal struggle of culture and family identity development amongst Latina/x/o foster youth. However, his data also suggested that Latina/x/o foster youth have developed their own set of tools to (1) avoid disclosing their foster youth status, (2) subvert state violence, and (3) reposition their lived experiences as an opportunity to create their version of “Latina/x/o.” These youth have reimagined foster care as a liminal space, where an embrace of their foster youth identity allowed them to feel autonomous and empowered by their intersectional identities Michael brought his data to the Peter E. Haas Public Service Center, becoming a […]

...Read More about Michael Papias (2021)

Terrae Cognitae: Mapping the New Narratives of Berkeley's Unhoused Communities

On ancient maps, terrae incognitae referred to regions beyond the bounds of the geographically known, often labelled with images of monsters or other imagined dangers. Berkeley’s homeless encampments, we contend, are popularly regarded as terrae incognitae, despite representing colloquially known neighborhoods that are populated by people with their own narratives, attachments to place, and cartographic knowledge. These encampments are often perceived to be mysterious spaces, and are absent from cartographic representation, making them targets for speculated meanings. Encampments like Seabreeze and People’s Park receive little municipal recognition and are conspicuously excluded from official maps. In our project, we will build on the abundant work and scholarship of academics, artists, and activists in the East Bay community to center voices and experiences of those living in the encampments. We are eager to collaborate with Berkeley’s encampment communities to produce robust and diverse cartographic representations of their spaces as neighborhoods. We plan […]

...Read More about Katherine Chen & Henry DeMarco (2021)

UNEARTHED: The Untold Food Stories of Central Valley Punjabi Women

UNEARTHED is an oral history and community education project that documents, amplifies, and creates community around the diverse narratives of Punjabi immigrant women working in food processing plants across California’s Central Valley. Since the early 1900s, California has been home to a large number of Punjabi immigrants. Today, Punjabi is the third most spoken language in several Central Valley counties and the Punjabi community likely constitutes the second-largest immigrant labor force in the Central Valley agricultural sector; however, the stories of these Punjabi laborers, specifically the stories of Punjabi women laborers, remain disproportionately invisible to the public. Focusing on the Kern, Fresno, and Merced counties, UNEARTHED will first capture and preserve the experiences of Punjabi women currently working as front-line food factory workers. Then, through a series of cooking and storytelling workshops designed for both the Punjabi community and the general public, the project will promote healing, facilitate critical conversations […]

...Read More about Sukhmony Brar (2021)