Racism and the Local Food Movement

Posted on June 17, 2020 by Alicia Alferman

This is a statement we published on social media. We want to share it here as well. 

The murder of George Floyd is one in a long history of murders of black people in our country. To live in the US, to live as an American, means living every single minute in the wrong that is white supremacy and in the white violence that enforces it. At the same time that Cultivate works to create a better, more just, and more powerful local food community, we know that, as a predominantly white organization and by virtue of simply being Americans, we are complicit in racial injustice.

We know that our food movement is shaped and supported by structural racism. We know that our love for our community and for our farmers is not enough and will never be enough to truly create justice. Our staff are sad, we are angry, we know that what we have done for justice is good, but not enough, and that it will never be enough. We feel for and stand with the black farmers and community members who walk daily in the wrongs that white America has created and maintains.

As a country, we have reached a breaking point, the injustices and pain and harm have piled so high and so deep that nothing can be done until they are addressed. We embrace the possibilities for change that this crisis has brought; we are challenged to do better and to do more, and we commit to learn, listen, and act for reparations and justice within our local food movement. We stand, with our flawed and imperfect selves, in solidarity with people who are working for justice and we are grateful for your courage and determination.

We will be asking, welcoming, and integrating the insights of members of our black farming community as we chart our path forward and as we develop a plan for greater dedication to racial justice within our organization and our food movement. 

Katherine Kelly, Executive Director