Bringing food justice to communities of color

Published February 28, 2019

Kristopher Walton is a second-year student in the MUP program and a research assistant with the Food Lab.

Kristopher Walton is a second-year student in the MUP program and a research assistant with the Food Lab

MUP student Kristopher Walton came to Buffalo nearly two years ago to join the African Heritage Co-op's mission to extend food access to the East Side. It wasn't long after that he learned of UB's Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab and its Master of Urban Planning program.

Now in his second year of the MUP program, Walton is a research assistant at the Food Lab and specializes his graduate studies on community health and food systems.

The food justice advocate's introduction to the field took place through his undergraduate studies in geography at Illinois State University. A project on food deserts sparked his passion for addressing gaps in food access for communities of color, leading to an independent study and numerous presentations at conferences and community events. 

After earning his bachelor's degree in 2015, Walton got right to work - in his own backyard. The native of Chicago's South Side returned home to establish "Crisp! Grocery", a mobile market that worked closely with the community to understand the food choices they wanted to see in their community.

Looking ahead, Walton is eager to apply his MUP to further his personal and professional mission to bridge access to healthy food for communities of need.

The School of Architecture and Planning's "Celebrating Black History, Investing in Black Futures" campaign, to continue throughout February as Black History Month, will shine a spotlight on the accomplishments and activities of our Black faculty, alumni, staff and students. The campaign will also recognize critical research and programs that celebrate the Black experience.

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