Date of Graduation

Summer 8-17-2016

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Kelly L'Engle


With the industrialization of the food system in past decades, convenience foods have become the cornerstone of the standard American diet. This spike in obesity rates has been more impactful for some populations than for others. In low-income communities of color, fast and processed foods are often the most accessible and affordable source of sustenance. Critical indicators of status and well-being, health disparities are one example of the social barriers faced by predominately low-income people of color.

The Decolonize Your Diet project channels principles of resistance into its mission to improve the health of people of color in Oakland, California. As a model for communities of color to reclaim and reconnect with ancestral ways of eating, the program aims to inspire a sense of empowerment through food. Through the application of a decolonial framework, the workshop will promote meaningful dialogue around the value of reclaiming one’s cultural inheritance and organizing for social change. Each workshop will discuss the history and cultural significance of an ancestral dish. And through that dish, the event will create a visceral experience for participants helping them gain a greater understanding of the power of food, as well as their power as individuals and a collective community. The Decolonize Your Diet project has the power to improve the well-being of its participants not only through health, but also through engagement in social and political actions.