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Looking Back and Ahead: Our Racial Equity Journey in 2020 and into 2021

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 08, 2020



By Helen Dombalis, Executive Director


National Farm to School Network was founded in 2007 on core values including food justice, and we have more recently moved to focus on the importance of race in this work, since food justice is racial justice. We are also working to move beyond words into action, since while words like our equity commitment statement matter, words alone will not achieve a racially just food system. We also need tangible action, such as our efforts in 2019.

Twice in 2020 - in January and June - we publicly made commitments to action for racial justice through our work and have been carrying through on those steps throughout the year. This fall, we launched our call to action for the food system that will guide us in the years ahead.

In the spirit of holding ourselves accountable and in hopes of inspiring each of you to set measurable goals in your work towards achieving racial justice in our food system, we’re sharing our story from 2020. We’d love to hear your story too!

2020: Reflecting back, we:

2021: Looking ahead, we will be:
  • Updating our mission and vision and our values to explicitly center them in racial justice. 
  • Updating our equity commitment to provide more context about the history and intentional exploitation and oppression behind the statistics we cite.
  • Asking ourselves and all of you what shifting power looks like and setting measurable goals and tracking progress towards this.
  • Updating our equity assessment tool for programs and policies.
  • Developing an organizational equity assessment tool for us and our partners. 
  • Continuing to invest in racial equity professional development opportunities for staff and board members.
  • Creating a “People to People Language Guide” for communicating about race, ethnicity, gender, social class, disability status, and other forms of identity.
  • Continuing work with our external equity consultants.
  • Continuing to examine and address white supremacist culture in our organization.

Onward, together!

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