Exploring spatial justice challenges in rural Mississippi
ABSTRACT: The poverty and food insecurity rates in Mississippi are the highest in the nation, 20.8% of people in Mississippi are living in poverty and 18.7% of Mississippi households were food insecure for the years 2014- 2016. This study identifies and explores spatial justice challenges in small towns in rural Mississippi, by examining the social-spatial implications of unequal access to resources and affordable housing through the lenses of spatial justice theory. It reviews existing literature exploring issues of food insecurity, housing inequality, and inequitable development in vulnerable rural communities and it highlights the need for a spatial justice approach in this state. This article critically examines literature on food deserts and geographical discrimination practice of redlining as an important barrier for minority populations in Mississippi to access to affordable housing and adequate housing quality. The goal of this literature review is to inform policymakers to consider innovative and inclusive ways for community development and development of infrastructure in vulnerable communities in the context of limited resources in rural Mississippi.
KEYWORDS: spatial justice, small towns, food insecurity, housing inequality