Editor’s Letter – 2022 Summer Small Farms Quarterly
Dear farmers and friends,
“No one should lose their lives while shopping for food,” as stated in the media advisory we share in this issue, co-created by Food For the Spirit and other Black-led organizations in New York State to call for an end to white supremacy, white nationalism and anti-blackness.
The Small Farms Program’s Equity and Justice Statement affirms our commitment to the Black, Indigenous and Farmers of Color in our network. We will continue to be actively engaged and involved in relationship building, collaboration, and support of efforts to build diverse, equitable and just food systems.
Our collective efforts are needed to stop the violence against people of color in our communities. The work to dismantle racism starts at home, on our farms and in our communities by understanding our own implicit biases and by assuming personal responsibility to challenge racist thinking and vocally condemn racial hatred and violence. We need to stand in support of our Black colleagues and any individual who suffers from any forms of oppression.
It is challenging work to transform our hearts, minds, and behaviors. But it is essential work to achieve long-lasting change rooted in dignity, respect, and equity for all members of our community. We can all work toward making our communities a place where all are welcome and safe. Let’s build locally what we want to see in the world.
A Few Ways to Take Action
- Support Black-led organizations working to end food apartheid and violence in Buffalo.
- Support the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Support the NAACP efforts on race and justice.
- Explore ways to reflect on and talk about race issues.
- Support the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust.
- If you are white and wanting to take action to build a powerful anti-racist movement for collective liberation, join the Showing Up for Racial Justice email list.
- Black Love Resists in the Rust has compiled a Community Resource Document to find food, mental health, transportation, and other support services and donation opportunities.
- Food Solutions New England has hosted the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge for several years. Explore their collection of materials to help learn more about racial equity in the food system.
- Consider how you build a more inclusive workplace on your farm. Soul Fire Farm, in Grafton, NY, is committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. They have shared how they commit to creating a safer space. They also share ways to take action for racial justice in the food system.
- Learn more about the structural racism present in the U.S. food system with this Michigan State University annotated bibliography.
We all must remain alert and committed to dismantling white supremacy and white nationalism to create inclusive environments for people of all identities. Join us in transforming agriculture and farming to be a more just, equitable and safe vocation.
Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program