A team of Black food systems experts from across the country met for over a year to develop the toolkit, edit, and finally design it. Contractors Sagdrina Jalal and Nedra Deadwyler led the work group and pulled together content for the toolkit, work group member Alinee “shiny” Flanary edited the final draft of the toolkit, and Ameila Dortch provided graphic design. You can learn more about all of the workgroup members [here.]
A: Recognizing that FMC is still young in its journey to practicing principles of anti-racism, we decided to play a supporting role in the development of the toolkit. FMC funded the toolkit’s creation and has been providing logistical support throughout the project. Currently FMC is helping to support dissemination of the toolkit by providing a home for the toolkit on FMC’s website, sharing and promoting the toolkit to our audience of farmers market operators, co-facilitating discussions at conferences, and referring market operators to the toolkit as requests for technical assistance in this subject arise.
A: The purpose of this toolkit is to focus on system-level changes to shift the culture of farmers markets towards one that is anti-racist. While many toolkits exist to support people in practicing anti-racism, this toolkit is aimed specifically at the needs and contexts of farmers market managers. As decision makers in the farmers market space, operators and managers have the power to make changes to the structures, policies, and programs of the market.
A: The Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit is meant to be a living document, more than just another PDF that sits in a resource library or on a desktop, we hope it will be the basis of conversations, workshops, and concrete changes in the function of farmers markets and the food system more broadly. We hope that it will be the artifact of a convening of people who have been directly affected by the ways in which farmers markets have benefitted from and contributed to a culture of White supremacy, towards dismantling that culture as it is encoded in the rules, practices, and spaces of the farmers market. You can help it to flourish as a living document by [connecting] with work group members as you prepare to implement the toolkit in your own market.
A: The purpose of this toolkit is not necessarily to perform outreach to certain populations. Instead, the focus is on combating White supremacy and racism as a whole in farmers market settings. We believe that the information shared and changes that come about from this toolkit will benefit a multitude of races and ethnicities. Taking this purpose into account, FMC, together with our lead consultants Sagdrina Jalal and Nedra Deadwyler, felt that beginning with a work group made up of Black folks would allow us to dive more deeply into the lived experiences of a specific population that has a long and traumatic history with agriculture, land ownership, and food systems in this country. Moreover, recognizing that race itself began as an invention to facilitate the violence of slavery and colonialism, we believe that a focus on combating anti-blackness will help to lay the groundwork for undermining race as an outgrowth of oppression in our markets more broadly. There will certainly be opportunities for additional consultation and feedback outside Black communities throughout the continued development of this toolkit. We have also discussed convening separate work groups specific to Indigenous, Latinx, and other communities in future phases of the toolkit. The focus of these work groups would be to bring additional perspectives and lived experience to create further sections of this toolkit.
A: This process is still in the works, but you can let us know via [this form] that you are interested in participating in the pilot, and we will get in touch with you as soon as a formal application is available.
During the first year of the Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit’s availability, FMC will offer some joint presentations with Lead Facilitator Sagdrina Jalal and Lead Researcher Nedra Deadwyler to introduce the toolkit to new audiences. However, because FMC didn’t create the toolkit, we can’t provide insight into its contents beyond the introductory, and we are not necessarily the right partner for markets seeking support and accountability in implementing the toolkit. For deeper engagement with the toolkit and its contents, reach out to the work group members for a presentation, workshop, or consultancy discussion by filling out [this form].
This is an iterative and ongoing process. Even the folks who created this toolkit continue to engage in the process of iterating on its implementation. We encourage you to continually revisit your mission and goals as an organization striving towards anti-racism to seek new ways of making your market a space of belonging for community members that have been historically excluded from markets.
No, please share the toolkit widely! We do ask that you use [this link] to share the Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit, so that we can stay in touch with users and make sure that everyone who downloads the toolkit has the opportunity to learn about updates as well as others’ challenges and successes in implementation.
You can contact the Farmers Market Coalition at email@example.com, we will share pertinent feedback with the work group’s leadership team.
Though it is specifically designed for use by farmers market operators, this toolkit has broad applications across the farm direct field. The toolkit walks readers through exercises and reflections that can be applicable to many settings. We hope that managers of other farm direct retail sites will find many useful tools within its pages!
Once you are ready to engage with workgroup members, you can fill in [this form] to request a presentation, workshop, or to seek consultancy support from a member of the work group. See the question below about compensation expectations
The toolkit is designed to have many ways of entering and engaging with its contents. There might be aspects of the work that you are prepared to do on your own and with your market community, while for other parts of the work, you will need support and accountability from an outside partner. We don’t always know what we don’t know.
A commitment to valuing the time and expertise of community members of color and of work group members is part of the foundation for creating an anti-racist organization. Asking BIPOC professionals to do work without adequate compensation doesn’t acknowledge the expertise and skills they bring and perpetuates systems of inequity. Acknowledging this, the expectation is that if you would like to consult with a work group member you will compensate them for their time, just as you would compensate a contractor to come in and help your market do strategic planning. As majority white-led organizations we can leverage our relationships with funders, educating them on why it’s important to fund this work.
After you let us know what kind of support and collaboration you are seeking via [this form], the Farmers Market Coalition will send your request on to the toolkit’s work group members. If a member of the work group is willing and available to assist you, they will email you directly. Please use [these guidelines], developed through [Soul Fire Farm’s Speakers Collective,] to guide you in communicating with work group members. Because we are sending your request to everyone in the work group, you may receive multiple emails, and it is up to you to come to an understanding with the person or persons with whom you will work. If you haven’t heard from anyone within two weeks, please feel free to get back in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: During the first year after the publication of the Antiracist Farmers Market Toolkit, we will be piloting the process of working with a consultant to implement the toolkit with one or more markets. Once we have created a process for consultancy, other markets will be able to contract with workgroup members on implementation. In the meantime, if you are interested in working with a workgroup member in the future, please register your interest via [this form] and we will be in touch once this option is available.