Meet Dr. White

Dr. Monica M. White is the Distinguished Chair of Integrated Environmental Studies (2021-25) and associate professor of Environmental Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology and the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. She is the first Black woman to earn tenure in both the College of Agricultural Life Sciences (established 1889) and the Nelson Institute (established 1970). Her research investigates Black, Latinx, and Indigenous grassroots organizations that are engaged in the development of sustainable, community-based food systems as a strategy to respond to issues of hunger and food inaccessibility in both contemporary times and the twentieth century.

As the founding director of the Office of Environmental Justice and Engagement (OEJ) at UW-Madison, she works toward bridging the gap between the university and the broader community by connecting faculty and students to community-based organizations that are working in areas of environmental/food/land justice toward their mutual benefit.

Her first book, Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, was published by University of North Carolina Press in January 2019. It received the First Book Award from the Association of Association for the Study of Food in Society, (2020), the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award from the Division of Race and Ethnic Minorities Section of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (2019), and an Honored Book Award from the Gendered Perspectives section of the Association of American Geographers (2019).