The Liberal Arts Action Lab

In the Liberal Arts Action Lab, Hartford community partners define problems facing the city and collaborate with teams of students and faculty to research and publicly share possible solutions. The Action Lab is an educational partnership between Capital Community College and Trinity College in Hartford, the capital city of Connecticut. Our goals are to strengthen the city and its role in the region, spark social innovation, and support civic engagement and sustainability.

Our Community Partner

Grow Hartford Youth Program organizes youth and the community around social injustices such as food injustice, racism, and adultism. In order to better understand the power players in charge of providing food to Hartford Public Schools, our group would like to learn which companies and/or corporations are contracted by Hartford Public Schools to supply school food. Grow Hartford would also like to learn how much these contracts cost and what the nutritional content is of the foods they provide.

Grow Hartford Research Team


Bailey Cunningham, a senior at Trinity College from Cheshire, CT, is majoring in Economics. She was excited to be a part of the School Nutrition Project to help tackle concerns regarding food insecurity in the community. She has taken multiple nutrition courses and is passionate about spreading awareness about the foods we eat. She hopes to find useful information for Grow Hartford to accomplish their mission. In the process of the research, she hopes to bring more forces to the movement of addressing the systematic forces that determine the foods we eat.

Emma Hersom, a first-year at Trinity College from Sutton, MA, is planning on majoring in Political Science and Human Rights. She views the School Nutrition Project as an opportunity to identify intersectional approaches and solutions to the issue of food oppression and insecurity in Hartford through the school food programs, while also acknowledging the systemic forces that may have a role in contributing to this issue. She hopes that Grow Hartford can utilize the research and information the team has gathered to continue to push for building just and equitable food systems in Hartford and beyond.

Concilia Ndlovu, a senior at Trinity College from Johannesburg, South Africa, is majoring in International Studies. The School Nutrition Project is her first applied research class at Trinity College but her second Hartford Community Engagement class because she enjoys connecting with and giving back to her community. In the future, she plans to partner with innovative philanthropy foundations to provide quality education to low-income gifted students as well as creating sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities for women in marginalized African communities. 

Rafael Villa, a senior at Trinity College from Chicago, IL, is majoring in Mathematics and Educational Studies.  He is passionate about public school reform and inequity issues and saw this course as a way to become further engaged in the Hartford community. He hopes that Grow Hartford can use the research to assist them in their mission of battling food inequity in Hartford Public Schools.

Destini Watson, a sophomore of the Liberal Arts program at Capital Community College, is from Windsor, CT and is thankful to have been chosen for the Trinity Liberal Arts research project. Destini is committed to the success of this research project because securing the well-being of children is important, and a crucial part of that is evaluating the components of school nutrition. Destini is grateful to be working with her team and Grow Hartford towards strengthening Hartford’s commitment to healthy school nutrition.


This is a Spring 2021 Action Lab Project.

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