Washington D.C.: Food and Water Watch

Taylor Henry

Senior Taylor Henry has lived in North Carolina, California, and now, for this summer, Washington D.C. She is one of the College Fellows currently working in the capital through the UCDC program, a multi-campus initiative providing residency, instructional courses, research opportunities, and internship placement assistance in Washington D.C. Through the program, Taylor is currently interning at Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy nonprofit.
Food and Water Watch fights to ensure that everyone has access to safe food and water. Staff and interns perform research, publish reports, lobby government officials, inform people about the food they consume, and connect interested individuals to lobbying practices and public events. A major focus of the organization is countering large money interests that do not serve the public.


Taylor reflects on the internship with a warm sentiment. When she graduates from UCLA, she hopes to find work in food policy or urban planning before returning to graduate school to continue her studies in one of these fields. As a food research and policy intern, Taylor has been tasked largely with the issues pertaining to antibiotic resistance and food safety. Her duties include investigating corporate mergers and rooting out conflicts of interest in research funding. One of the most rewarding parts of the internship, Taylor describes, is being able to to help ensure that the system doesn’t mistreat the public and its need for safe food and water.


Her internship cohort consists of students with a wide array of perspectives from many parts of the country and world. Food policy is a universal concern, and Food and Water Watch does its part to keep the fight moving forward. Taylor appreciates the positive outlook of her organization and loves to see their efforts materialize. One of their recent pushes was in the realm of renewable energy, in which they organized a gathering of over 10,000 in Downtown Philadelphia for the March for a Clean Energy Revolution. As a research and policy intern, Taylor was thrilled to experience the coordination of the event. Alongside the rest of her office, Taylor marched from city hall to Independence Hall surrounded by concerned citizens from every lifestyle. She was blown away by the inclusivity of the event with representation from all ages and communities. The march demonstrated a collective need for progress and validated the work Taylor has accomplished over the summer.
As she returns to UCLA, she brings her enthusiasm with her. The city and people of Los Angeles have been Taylor’s guide to finding meaningful work. “Los Angeles has a very complicated food system right now,” she explains, “and it’s very evident during LA Food Council policy meetings.” The community-mindedness of UCLA has demonstrated to her the importance of collective action, and she hopes to see not just UCLA but all of Los Angeles begin to make the push to safe food and water for all. She recognizes UCLA’s prominent role in the community and hopes that others follow by example, working together to create change for the better.

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