Today, I write you because I am grieving the loss of so many lives of Black Americans who were killed because of the color of their skin. I feel the weight of the killing of George Floyd, Mike Ramos and countless others heavily in my heart. As the Executive Director of Sustainable Food Center - as well as a parent, spouse, daughter, friend, Native American, and ally - I know that we must stand up and fight for justice and not be silent in the face of structural oppression.
The roots of systemic racism in our country can be traced through our food system and continues to operate today. It began with stealing land from Indigenous people and enslaving African and Indigenous peoples to work on plantations that created the basis for generational wealth, to today’s exploitation of prison populations and immigrant farm labor. Systemic racism is a root cause of hunger, food insecurity, and diet-related disease. It is pervasive and weaves through the very fabric of our nation.
At SFC, equity is one of our primary core values, and we are striving to build a just food system so that everyone - no matter the color of their skin, level of their income, sexual orientation or gender identity - can thrive. Still, the trauma of institutional racism is immense. It continues to operate in our society so that Black communities experience disproportionate rates of incarceration and decreased life expectancy, regardless of income and educational attainment. I urge you to stand up and join me in the fight to dismantle racism and oppression in our country - and our food system.
Change happens when we come together in shared purpose to demand justice and equity for all. Here are just a few ways you can start: