Rodrigo Alvarez is a senior at UCLA majoring in Sociology and minoring in Food Studies. As an intern working with the Urban Food Equity team, he hopes to work closely with stakeholders in order to acquire the practical knowledge needed to develop resilient and sustainable local food infrastructures. As the child of Mexican immigrant parents, who is also a first-generation college student, he has intimate knowledge of how many of our institutions, specifically our foodways, can be inequitable for marginalized communities. By applying a sociological lens that is both critical and intersectional, Rodrigo wants to highlight those often overlooked injustices directly related to food access.
During his time in college, Rodrigo was president and treasurer of a student-run club called Students for Social Justice whose mission is to provide a platform for students to engage in meaningful dialogue about contemporary social problems and express their personal challenges in navigating higher education. Through his years of experience in front-line service work, Rodrigo understands that listening to the needs of those he aims to serve (urban farmers, local markets, and residents) is a critical first-step in achieving lasting change. He credits the exceptional faculty at UCLA’s Food Studies program for cultivating his deep interest in food justice and the socially, culturally and environmentally nuanced ways in which the topic must be addressed in order to make our foodways truly equitable.
Rodrigo supports the Urban Food Equity team under Elle Mari from March 2021-July 2021.