The Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) is a community of practice at the University of Vermont, which utilizes an approach grounded in agroecology, participatory action research (PAR) and transdisciplinarity. Our goal is to better understand and seek solutions to the issues facing our food systems.

Mission, Vision and Principles

To co-create evidence and knowledge, with farmers and other actors, to cultivate socially just and ecologically sound food systems.

We envision local, regional and global food systems that support human and ecological health, social equity and inclusion


  • Our research seeks to integrate academic disciplines with real world knowledge to seek solutions to pressing global challenges through a transdisciplinary food systems focus.
  • Our work actively integrates the voices of relevant actors through a process of inquiry and reflection that leads to tangible action (i.e. PAR).
  • We are open and collaborative, actively inviting the participation of a diversity of actors in our research, education and outreach activities.
  • We prioritize supporting smallholder farmers to become protagonists in agroecologically driven food systems.

ALC Antiracism and Justice Statement

Being part of the ALC means committing to a process of inquiry and reflection that is both individual and collective. For several years, we have worked as a community of practice (CoP) to define norms, interrogate our own positionality and responsibilities, and make commitments to be agents of change both in our personal and professional realms. Given the growing awareness about systemic racism, we thought it was a good time to write a public statement about our position on broad issues of justice. We wrote the following statement together, as a community of practice, which reflects our values and articulates our commitments.

The Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative is a community of practice where we strive to understand systems and, in this work, we are confronted with our individual and collective roles in oppression and destruction. We hold ourselves and each other accountable as we work to transform and heal our agrifood system – using collaboration to find co-liberation*. This requires us to confront our discomfort and set aside our egos, with the goal of living our values instead of just talking about them. We know this takes time, energy, effort, humility, and, above all, deep listening and reflection. 

 We center anti-racist work while challenging all forms of oppression. We commit to following the lead of our BIPOC members, supporting the collective protagonism of those that have historically been excluded or marginalized, responding to the demands and calls for social change, showing up in solidarity, and striving to be accomplices in this long-overdue transformation of society. We will learn, unlearn, and imagine with genuine curiosity and care, we will remember that joy and struggle must accompany each other, and we will stay true to this process recognizing that it is not a destination, but a journey.

*Tawana Petty (Author), Jamii Tata (Editor)

Towards Humanity: Shifting the Culture of Anti-Racism Organizing. Self-published, 2018.