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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and the Latinx Project at NYU present a conversation with Mohamed Attia and Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez of the Street Vendor Project, moderated by Krishnendu Ray, Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, Steinhardt NYU. This panel will explore the role of food vendors in the economy and community building in NYC, and the impact of COVID-19.
Co-Sponsored by the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU Steinhardt, and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).
About the Event:
The call to recategorize workers across the food system as essential has nationally exposed the deep structural inequality these workers face, making them especially vulnerable during this pandemic. And while many workers, activists, and community organizers understood this inequality long before COVID, the focus on food security has unpenned an opportunity of re-examination and discussion that is rooted in regional explorations of these issues. And while New York City is a world renowned site of a culinary world anchored by restaurateurs and street food vendors, this panel will explore the impact of COVID on immigrant vendors and restaurant workers.
About the Panelists:
Mohamed Attia, is the Director of the Street Vendor Project. He immigrated to the US from Alexandria, Egypt in 2008. He worked as a vendor for nearly ten years selling hot dogs, halal chicken and rice, and smoothies. He became a member of the Street Vendor Project in 2012, was elected to the Leadership Board, and served on the board until 2018, when he joined SVP's staff. He lives in Bensonhurst with his wife.
Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez is the Street Vendor Project’s Deputy Director. She is a Colombian-American who brings experience in nonprofit management, policy development, restaurants, and community organizing within immigrant communities to the team. She has held positions at NYC Small Business Services, Community Service Society, and Fundación Corona. She holds a Masters in International Affairs and Urban Social Policy from Columbia University.
Krishnendu Ray is Associate Professor and Department Chair in Food Studies at New York University. Krishnendu Ray received his Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton in 2001. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University, India. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2005, Krishnendu was a faculty member and an Acting Associate Dean for Curriculum Development at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
A food studies scholar, he is the author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households (Temple University, 2004). He co-edited (with Tulasi Srinivas) Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (University of California Press, 2012). His most recent monograph is The Ethnic Restaurateur (Bloomsbury 2016).
Image Credit: Street vendor Roberto Cruz puts on gloves before handling produce by Gary He,