At Groundswell Center we are committed to the creation of an equitable local food system– one that truly works for all of us.
We know that many of the current injustices that exist within our food system, such as land theft, lack of access to land, food apartheid neighborhoods, diet related health problems, and farmworker exploitation are rooted in race and class disparities, and that all too often the voices of people of color and poor or low-income people are excluded from the mainstream food movement.
The Groundswell staff and leadership are committed to listening to those most impacted by food injustice, to being honest about how white supremacy and exploitation have fundamentally shaped the agricultural history of the U.S., to furthering our own education on how to build a just and equitable food system and supporting our community to do the same, to honoring local knowledge, and to taking appropriate action to support, deepen or create local food justice.
We are committed to incorporating the needs, assets and perspectives of people and communities of color into the design and implementation of inclusive programming, organizational culture and policies.
We believe that it is essential to encourage a diverse range of perspectives and experiences on our Board of Directors, Committees, staff and within our organization as a whole so that we are making decisions that best reflect the varied needs of our community, with traditionally marginalized voices at the center. We recognize this document as a work in progress and commit to revisiting and updating it annually, and that the process of creating a just and equitable organization and local food system is never finished.
To move toward the goals outlined above, Groundswell strives to:
- Create an anti-racist environment where all staff, board members, leadership and volunteers are seen, respected, and supported to participate fully.
- Support food justice education and racial justice awareness not only within Groundswell, but within our wider community as well.
- Develop collaborative and supportive relationships with people of color and organizations led by people of color including but not limited to redistributing 10% of donations made to Groundswell to these groups, and extend and deepen support for local farmers, gardeners and growers of color and immigrant and refugee farmers.
- Take action to challenge racism in the food and farming community and beyond.
- Implement a hiring protocol that holds us accountable to creating accessible position descriptions that value lived experiences as well as ‘traditional’ experiences, publicizes positions near and far both online and in person, offers alternative forms of interviewing methods, and requires a team of diverse reviewers who make the final hiring choice.
- Continuously review our website, promotional materials and course descriptions for language and images that highlight racial and social justice and inclusive, appropriate language.
- Work with staff and leadership to ensure our meetings and events are accessible, including but not limited to providing childcare, transportation, meals and interpretation as needed.
- Commit ourselves to this ongoing work by regularly evaluating the composition and organizational culture of our staff, board and committees through annual self-assessment and bi-monthly meetings of the Equity and Accountability Committee.
- Eventually move from being a majority white organization to an anti-racist multicultural organization, with people of color occupying at least 50% of staff and board positions. We hope that the steps outlined above will make this a more likely makeup for Groundswell Center.
A comprehensive version of this statement including concrete action steps outlined for each point above guides our work. If you would like to see this longer version, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments? Reflections? Feedback? We welcome your thoughts, reflections and questions about this Equity Statement, and we value your feedback on Groundswell’s efforts to demonstrate these commitments in our community.