In 2016, we brought on a team of experts, Dr. Martha Ramos Duffer and Paula X. Rojas, to lead the entire SFC staff through a racial justice training. We hoped to better contextualize the climate at the time, confront our own internal biases, and learn how to be better allies individually and as an organization.
From January through June of 2016, all SFC staff spent 36 hours of training with Martha and Paula. As a result of this training, we formed an internal Racial Justice team and a 5-year racial justice strategic plan.
This plan included change at all levels of the organization: changes to our physical space, to our HR practices, and to questions we include on client surveys. Examples of some of the developments we made include:
- Established protocol for addressing external feedback and concerns
- Made our building space more welcoming and inclusive (e.g. bilingual signage and a play area for children during client meetings)
- Removed education requirements in some job openings
- Created a more thorough and diverse hiring process
This team facilitated many of these developments, in addition to planning bi-annual breakfast events called Food Justice Encuentros. These breakfasts brought together the local food community to talk about intersectional issues such as immigration, health care, youth activism, and workers’ rights. SFC hosts these events, however, they are inspired by the ideas and needs of the community, highlighting local experts through panels and discussions, with bilingual interpretation and locally catered food.