The Food Solutions New England Network has taken a lead in centering issues of racial equity and racial justice in food system work since announcing it as a priority at the New England Food Summit in 2013. Since then, the Network has been growing and evolving together while also influencing other food system projects and networks around the country.
Currently, we are examining how to deepen our commitment to racial equity and justice, including honest work around examining whiteness and dismantling systems of white supremacy that are part of many dominant systems, including food systems.
SELECTED GOALS THAT REFLECT THE FSNE COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY AND FOOD JUSTICE
- To promote a shared framing and understanding of concepts central to food systems, racial equity, and food justice.
- To provide leadership in identifying opportunities to build greater awareness of the persistent pattern of racial inequality and food injustice that permeates our food system, while actively building the capacity and commitment to policies and practices that lead to a more equitable and just food system for all.
- To identify and/or develop broad-based, targeted strategies to ensure diverse engagement by citizens in New England, who become fully able to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a healthy, affordable, accessible, environmentally sound, and fair food system for today and future generations.
- To build greater state, regional, and national awareness of the reality of white privilege & supremacy and structural racism operating in the food system.
- To enhance collaboration designed to promote food justice and racial equity.
- To enhance local, state, and regional communication platforms and network development designed to address racial equity and food justice.
- To commit to collecting, analyzing, disseminating, and curating qualitative and quantitative data and stories that serve as indicators or benchmarks related to racial equity and food justice.
We have been elevating these goals through the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, collaborations with other organizations and networks such as the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Farm to Institution New England, Northeast Sustainable Ag Working Group, the Wallace Center at Winrock International, Healthcare Without Harm, UNH and many others, including funders. Furthermore, the New Food System Narrative Toolkit we are developing will continue to center values of racial equity and justice as inseparable from healthy food system.
Check back to learn more about our progress over the course of 2018-2019 as our Network embarks on a participatory conversation about these goals and the specific behaviors and practices we, as a regional network, want to adopt in order to affirm and fully live into our racial equity commitment.