The murder of George Floyd is clearly unjust and egregious. We mourn, along with the nation, for his life lost and for his family. Mr. Floyd is the latest in a long legacy of unjust deaths of black and brown people in America. He and others whose names have been tragically seared into our consciousness are only the tip of this iceberg. Far too many others remain unnamed, unseen, and forgotten. We cannot allow this to continue.
Our country continues to be built on inequities and systemic racism that have allowed these deaths to happen and to continue to happen, over and over again. Our agriculture and food system likewise is built on these same inequities that cause disproportionate, devastating, and deadly consequences for black and brown people.
SAFSF has the privilege and responsibility to be an advocate for change, a force for good, an ally to all communities, and an accomplice in dismantling racism. We commit to aligning our words with action. We commit to doing the hard work at the individual, organizational, community, and policy level so that our future looks different than our past and our present.
As a predominantly white network, those of us with white privilege must commit to:
- Learn about our own privilege and consider how it allows us to preserve white supremacy.
- Listen, really listen, to the people telling us about their experiences of systemic racism. Then, listen some more.
- Stop saying ‘I’m not racist’ and take responsibility for the practices we maintain – in our personal life, our work life, our community life – that serve to uphold or challenge the current system.
- Engage in dismantling public policies that have created and perpetuate racial and economic inequities.
- Acknowledge the power we hold relative to the risk of speaking up (the former is almost sure to be larger, and the latter smaller, than you think). Start talking about how we must work differently. Develop a plan to put that talk into action. Then do it.
- We can no longer look away. No more excuses. No more waiting for someone else to do this work. It’s yours. It’s mine. It’s ours.
Board of Directors and Staff
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders