Andrea Freeman

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa associate professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law has received the prestigious Fulbright-King’s College London Research Scholar Award beginning in January 2021. Andrea Freeman, a pioneer of the theory of “food oppression,” studies how industry-government partnerships harm marginalized communities.

Freeman will study food inequality and its relationship to policy in the United Kingdom, investigating how law and policy interact with corporate interests, racial stereotypes and popular beliefs about health and personal responsibility to create and perpetuate health disparities.

“The UK has significant disparities along racial lines in rates of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease,” said Freeman. “These conditions are risk factors for the most serious and deadliest cases of COVID-19.”

UH law school Dean Avi Soifer said, “The comparative work that Professor Freeman will do in the United Kingdom is certain to enrich her pathbreaking scholarship, and to add to her outstanding international reputation.”

Freeman uses a critical race theory lens to examine how food-related law and policy, influenced by corporate interests, contribute to health disparities among race, gender and class lines.

Her recent book, Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice explores how cooperation between the government and the food, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries is a key factor in racial disparities in infant feeding.

Read more on the UH law school website.

—By Beverly Creamer