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diabetesfood.jpgA new Community Food Studies Certificate Program planned at Wayne State University will enable students and community leaders to learn about the Detroit area’s food system as well as the skills to strengthen it.

Supported by a $100,000, 18‐month planning grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the post‐ baccalaureate certificate program will build on existing campus and community partnerships led by SEED Wayne since 2008.

The certificate program will integrate elements of classroom, field‐based, and engaged learning through required coursework, projects, and paid internships offered in partnership with community organizations and diverse campus units. Students with a bachelor’s degree in urban studies, environmental studies, public health, business, public policy, nutrition, anthropology, sociology, or other related fields may qualify for the certificate program.

“Detroit is a hot‐bed of food system activities,” said Kami Pothukuchi, SEED Wayne’s director and interim chair of the Department Urban Studies and Planning where the Certificate Program will be housed. “This grant helps us integrate our academic and engagement activities in a coherent package, through which students may enhance their leadership skills, gain a deeper knowledge of the community’s food system, become enmeshed in related social and professional networks, and secure employment and career opportunities.”

Advised by a committee consisting of WSU faculty members and community leaders, the certificate program will be developed and partially piloted in the 2015‐16 academic year.

Several community organizations have agreed to partner in the initiative. Others will be recruited in the planning phase of the program. Partners include the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Detroit Public Schools’ Office of School Nutrition, Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative, and Earthworks Urban Farm.

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