Summer Centered: Mimi Tran ’23 Supports Fishadelphia
With support from the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Tran is working with seafood CSA Fishadelphia’s social media and content team.
Mimi Tran ’23 grew up in an immigrant family on the Alabama coast, where seafood was a staple of both culture and cuisine. She and her cousins used to make fishing poles out of bamboo sticks, dangling hot dogs at the end of their strings in search of a fresh catch. At jubilees—sporadic events when crabs, shrimp, and fish wash up on the shores of the Gulf Coast—she went out early in the morning to help corral her family’s dinner.
The connection to coastal marine life runs deep for Tran, so she’s right at home this summer during her self-designed internship with Fishadelphia. The nonprofit, founded by Haverford Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Talia Young, delivers fresh, local, and affordable seafood to a racially diverse community of subscribers in Philadelphia. With support from the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Tran is working with Fishadelphia’s social media and content team on a variety of design and story projects, including recipe cards and graphics. She’s also designing ways to help communicate ideas from Young’s research on how small-scale alternative food systems such as Fishadelphia can effectively employ diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.
Concerned about climate change and sea-level rise back home, Tran transferred to Haverford as a sophomore with the aim of learning about alternative food systems and agricultural methods. In Young’s “Fish and Community Praxis” course, Tran further developed her sense of social and environmental activism, realizing that she could create change through food and design, she said. She began working on the Haverfarm on campus and at Life Do Grow, a Black-owned farm in North Philadelphia that fosters self-sustenance for its neighboring community. Now, at Fishadelphia, she’s continuing her effort “to plan for communities that look like me—Asian ones, immigrant ones, queer ones.”
While at Haverford, Tran, who graduated in May, began working toward a master’s degree through the University of Pennsylvania’s City and Regional Planning program, where she is now focused on land use and environmental planning, particularly as it relates to sea level rise and climate action. At Fishadelphia, she has found an opportunity to build community and deepen her sense of how to create change, all while furthering her connection to the food that’s meant so much throughout her life.
“I’m working for a mission that I care about, and in a space led by people who look like me and who are also like me, which wasn’t something I knew before moving to Philadelphia,” Tran said.