Please join us in welcoming the newest addition to the SOFSA community, Paige Clay! We are lucky to have Paige for the next six months as the SOFSA Emerson Hunger Fellow. Coming to snowy Syracuse from snowy Denver, Paige is excited to get to know the Syracuse-Onondaga community and expand her knowledge of food insecurity to another region of the country. 

Paige received her degree in Political Science and Africana studies from Wooster College. Currently, her sights are set on a possible dual degree in law and public policy. Her lived experiences as a Black woman and her experiences growing up in a food desert utilizing SNAP both deeply shape her passion for food justice. Her interest in food justice also grew during her time studying abroad in Sweden. While there, she saw alternative food systems in place that could be utilized to transform American food systems. While in undergrad, Paige learned of the Emerson Hunger Fellows program through her involvement with The Policy Academies (TPA). Prior to her arrival in Syracuse this past week, Paige was in DC receiving training at the Congressional Hunger Center’s office.

This summer, Paige completed an additional  fellowship with TPA. This joint fellowship between HUD and TPA gave her the opportunity to research connections between food and housing insecurity. She hopes to continue to explore the intersections between multiple social justice issues with food justice during her time at SOFSA. Paige feels that real change occurs when an intersectional lens can be applied to real-life issues to generate sustainable, self-sufficient solutions. 

When Paige isn’t conducting thoughtful, radical justice-oriented research, you might find her snacking on olives, baking or singing. She hopes during her time in Syracuse she will find more time to cook. She also is looking forward to exploring the different international grocery stores throughout the city. Feel free to reach out to Paige with your best suggestions for exploring Syracuse and CNY! 

I’m most excited to learn from the Syracuse-Onondaga community in order to build more accessible and inclusive food systems while amplifying vulnerable voices… I believe it is important to understand different food systems and engage with the communities utilizing these food systems.

Paige Clay, Emerson Hunger Fellow