FARON LEVESQUE / BA, MA, PhD Candidate
AOVS COMMUNITY KITCHEN COORDINATOR / email Faron
Teaching has been at the center of Faron’s professional interests since they spent two years directing an after-school program in San Francisco after graduating from Smith College. A historian by trade and educator by choice, Faron recently followed the long, windy road back home to the bluff city by way of both coasts and, most recently, Madison where they are finishing a PhD in History at the University of Wisconsin.
Faron’s doctoral research follows educators along a long arc of 20th century North American history and examines how teachers and activists create alternative academies in order to challenge, revitalize, and reimagine education. These are non-traditional educational spaces where dispossessed and disinherited folks are given a chance to seize the means of knowledge production within a democratic classroom sometimes within, but often without formal academic spaces. Faron sees the coordinated efforts of Memphis Tilth and the Alpha Omega Veteran Services as part of a similarly transformative organizing tradition and as alternative academies in their own right.
In collaboration with the AOVS farm team and Memphis Tilth, Faron is looking forward to growing a culinary curriculum that combines dynamic histories of struggle and food security movements with hands-on training in food literacy so that vital sites of learning like the kitchen, the garden, and the shared table might serve all of their constituents more fully, more equally.