About Us

Our Mission

seedlings in a garden


The Food Sovereignty Initiative (FSI) is rooted in the core principles of food sovereignty and food justice. Food sovereignty is about empowering people to produce, choose and consume their own culturally meaningful food. Food Sovereignty is less about feeding people, and more focused on empowering people to nourish themselves and their communities. We are committed to the free expression of creative ideas that allow people to explore questions related to human rights and food, human dignity, and our collective ability to live flourishing lives.

Food Sovereignty grew out of the struggles of landless, peasant, and fisherfolk communities, but is also taking shape in urban environments. It is premised on the human right to food, and prioritizes local food systems and local food producers. Food sovereignty emphasizes local control of land, water, seeds and other inputs that are considered common to, not owned by, all of humanity. Through building and expansion of local knowledge and skills, food sovereignty understands nature in a holistic way, and embraces the concept of agroecology, which promotes the cultivation of both healthy foods and healthy human relationships.


The Food Sovereignty Initiative (FSI) aims to be Florida’s leading research network for the advancement of food sovereignty. We seek to develop and publish original research on urban food systems, food sovereignty, and the cultural importance of food.  As a collegial community of researchers and local leaders, FSI publishes book and media reviews, hosts conferences, and facilitates public discussion and action on issues related to our food system. 


The Food Sovereignty Initiative supports, encourages, and advances interdisciplinary research and community action on food sovereignty: the right and opportunity of persons in urban ecosystems to define their food and agriculture policies and practices and to produce healthy and culturally appropriate food through their means using ecologically sound and sustainable methods.

As an innovative research hub, we invite community partners to contact us for community-based research that bridges the gap between the university and our surrounding communities, and the natural environment. In the spirit of food sovereignty, our diverse faculty bring their own disciplinary fields, and their own “local knowledge,” to bear on new collaborative research designs that advance both scholarship and practical applications of food sovereignty.