Growing, cooking, and preparing food is the ordinary chore that most of us take for granted. It's not a big deal, and we do it to survive. But what if we thought of it in a different way? What if we recognized the extraordinary in the ordinary?

La Doce Barrio Foodways project in Tuscon, Arizona does just that. We interviewed visionary anthropologist Dr. Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D., about the project. But like so many good conversations, our chat strayed to the more universal questions we all grapple with. Why do we have such a complex relationship with our identities? Why do we have a need to belong? What does it mean to engage a community in equitable manner? How do we use the tools and vocabulary of science in a way that empowers rather than alienates?

Listen in on this conversation, which we recorded at the West Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Albuquerque, NM in February of 2019.

Alvarez is an anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and community arts expert. She is Associate Dean for Community Engagement for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. She founded, and until recently served as executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an independent nonprofit affiliated with the university. 

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