Standing Together Against Racism: Black Lives Matter

      Posted On: June 3, 2020

Over the past week, the United States has been shaken by the deep inequities rooted within our justice system that have continued to destroy the lives of Black Americans like George Floyd. In the past, the Farmers Market Coalition has largely remained silent on matters of race and injustice. We will do so no longer. As a national organization, as a white-led organization, it is not only our place, but our duty to take a strong, public stance against police brutality, against racism, and against all forms of injustice in our food system and in our country. 

Food systems work is about the people of our communities, it is about building connections and supporting one another. At the same time, our nation’s food system has been built on the labor, expertise, and resources of people who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). 

All too often the organizations intended to correct inequities replicate many of those very inequities. The majority of farmers market organizations are white-led and markets are not always comfortable spaces for non-white shoppers or farmers. Worse yet, some have even become havens for racism and white supremacy. 

Farmers Market Coalition stands in solidarity with protesters across the nation calling for an end to police violence, racial injustice and the systemic oppression that are so deeply entrenched in this country. We stand against racism and white supremacy. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We are dedicated to being an anti-racist organization and doing the work to dismantle the systems that oppress the Black members of our communities and perpetuate inequality. There cannot be food justice without racial justice. 

We are committing to building partnerships, forging alliances, and learning from our BIPOC-led members and partners in order to create lasting systemic change. We are committing to amplifying the voices and the reach of BIPOC-led organizations and members. We will be continuing these conversations with our board, staff, and members to produce a more complete and specific plan of action.

There is much work to do, both internally within our organization’s structure and policies, and externally within the farmers market sector to challenge white supremacy and racism. But we are dedicated to starting and continuing this work, however uncomfortable or difficult it may be.