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National Farm to School Network

Movement Meeting 2020

Food Justice is Racial Justice

Thank you for your interest in our 2020 Movement Meeting! Find a recording of the webinar, information about our Call to Action, and resources shared during the webinar below. Additional links and resources are in the process of being added - check back soon for more!

How can we shift power in our communities to create a more just food system? What community capital and resources can help us create systemic change in the ways we grow, prepare and eat food? National Farm to School Network hosted a virtual Movement Meeting on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 1-3pm ET, featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, with deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system.

Watch the Recording

A recording of the Movement Meeting is also available on our Facebook page.

Resource links shared by participants in the Chat Box during the presentation can be found here

A list of responses from our interactive Q&A session can be found here

More About Our Call to Action
By 2025, 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system. 
As we embarked on our 2020 strategic planning process, we asked ourselves which communities have benefited from farm to school and who has been left out? Who holds power in our food system, and who does not? National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities. In order to achieve this vision, we must shift power to those most impacted by our racially unjust food system. With this in mind, we are issuing a call to action for our food system:

By 2025, 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system.

Read an overview here, and listen to Helen Dombalis, our Executive Director, share more about our Call to Action in this video.

We're just getting started! Be on the lookout for more information and opportunities to get involved with this Call to Action coming this fall.
5 Actions You Can Start Taking Now
ACTION #1: Actively assess your choice points from your organizational and/or individual perspective.
Choice points are moments throughout your day, week, month or year in which you have the opportunity to choose a more racially equitable option. These choice points can help you harness your own power regardless of how you are situated or positioned within your organization, family or community. It’s important to note that not all people have access to the same choices. With that in mind, reflect on what power you do have over certain decisions and choice points in your daily life and how you can avoid the “default” option. Read Using Choice Points to Advance Racial Equity and Inclusion to determine how to assess your choice points, generate alternate options, and identify new courses of action.

ACTION #2: Complete the NFSN Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool.
This tool is designed to help organizations identify racial and social inequities embedded within internal, local, state, and national programming and policy advocacy initiatives and potential policies. The tool includes a set of questions to help organizations and groups assess the equity outcomes of a specific program or policy, and support decision making processes which maximize opportunities for advancing racial and social equity. We at NFSN practice regular internal organizational assessments using this and other tools to help us be accountable to our commitment to racial equity. While this tool is targeted for individuals and groups to assess their organizational programs and policies, there are also tools available to help you assess and stay accountable in your individual work. Download the tool here.

ACTION #3: Stop racism every time you see it.
Check out 4 Ways To Speak Up, a role-playing resource and exercise* from Teaching Tolerance. The resource explains each of the four ways to speak up (interrupt, question, educate and echo) as well as examples of how to practice interrupting racism when you see it.
*This resource was shared by Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock at WeAre during a farm to school racial equity training for the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina.

ACTION #4: Get Out the Vote!
All kinds of organizations can participate in getting out the vote. If you have questions about how to participate or what is permissible, check out Bolder Advocacy. There are four basic ways we recommend getting out the vote: plan, share, volunteer and educate!
  • Know the rules in your state and locality. Nonprofit Vote will link you directly to your state’s election rules.
  • Make sure you are registered! The deadline to register has already passed in some states, but not all.
  • Planning to vote by mail? Make sure you know when you need to return it.
  • If you’re voting in person, try voting early. Or, set aside time on Election Day.
  • Share your plan and ask family and friends about theirs!
  • Is your work prioritizing your ability to vote? See here for a growing list of companies that are prioritizing their employees’ ability to vote.
Volunteer and Educate
  • You can volunteer as a poll worker. This site is a handy clearinghouse for finding the rules in your state and how to sign up.
  • You can also educate members of your wider community with nonpartisan information and reminders using resources this one and this one.
ACTION #5: National Farm to School Network’s Recommended Reading and Resource List for Food Justice.
This list was generated and compiled in collaboration with our Equity Learning Lab, a cohort of farm to school leaders and equity champions coming together over the last 6 months to create a farm to school curriculum that will support other farm to school stakeholders in their work to advance equity in our food systems and communities across the country. This list includes articles, books, infographics and podcasts that are great for those who are “getting started” in their food justice (un)learning journey as well as those interested in digging deeper and expanding their knowledge. It also has some resources for strategies to take action against racism and in the pursuit of food justice.

Karen Washington - Featured Speaker
Since 1985, Karen Washington has been a community activist, striving to make the New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, she worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens.

As an advocate, and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, she stood up and spoke out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing fresh vegetables to the community.

Karen is a board member of Why Hunger a grassroots support organization, and Farm School NYC leading workshops on growing food and food justice across the country. In 2010, Co- Founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization supporting growers in both urban and rural settings.

In 2012, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country and in 2014 was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Since retiring from Physical Therapy in 2014, Karen is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester New York.
Thank You to Our Sponsors and Supporters!

Special thanks to these sponsors and supporters who have helped make our 2020 Movement Meeting possible.