Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mahuya Pal, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ambar Basu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aisha Durham, Ph.D.


culture-centered approach, humanitarian right, neoliberalism, nonprofit, reflexivity


Neoliberalism is the contemporary political and economic thought that promotes ideas of private property, individualism, and market logic as key to advancing humanity. Scholars generally link neoliberalism to poverty from a broad perspective, but few have explored how it specifically impacts food insecurity. Globally, many people impacted by poverty also experience food insecurity. Hip-hop is important to resistance and fostering my critical worldview. Existing literature primarily describes hip-hop as a critical tool giving expression to people living at the margins. However, there is a need for hip-hop to be used more often as resistance by artists doing research. First, this study aims to understand food insecurity from the perspectives of food insecure individuals. Second, using the dominant themes from our conversations, I co-construct a hip-hop album. After conducting semi-structured interviews with 8 guests at Trinity Cafe, the analysis reveals the guests make sense of food insecurity by questioning organizations, through understanding responsibility and response-ability, and by showing active optimism. The hip-hop EP entitled Margins also emerged. Their knowledge challenges the commodification of food, complicates ideas of resilience, and foregrounds the importance of the collective. The study also provides important considerations for nonprofits and policy-makers by suggesting collaborations, intersectional approaches, and context-specific solutions are crucial.