In common with people around the world we were moved and troubled by the killing of George Floyd and have been deeply affected by the subsequent outpouring of grief and outrage. We wish to express our solidarity with the black community and all those who rightly demand justice and an end to racism and oppression.
We recognise our own position of privilege and the need to examine our work to explore how we can better support the fight against racism, inequality and injustice, particularly – but not only – in food and farming. We stand with the Landworkers’ Alliance’s assertion that dismantling systemic racism is central to creating healthy and just food and farming systems for all.
We also recognise that we have much to learn and are seeking to better educate ourselves. We are grateful to the Landworkers’ Alliance for pointing us towards valuable resources such as Food Systems New England’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.
We’ve learnt too from Sam Siva’s Building an Anti-Racist Food Movement: Reflections from Land in Our Names. In the weeks, months and years to come we will seek to keep in mind and act on Sam’s conclusion:
“Reparations is about recognising that the wealth and privilege of white people came from the exploitation of black and indigenous people and taking the necessary steps to heal that trauma. That means taking time to understand how you benefit in whatever way from white supremacy. It means using what resources and platforms you have access to and giving them to people of colour. It means supporting BIPOC organisations and institutions. It means dedicating time to learning more about the histories and cultures of racialised people. It means listening to and learning from Black and people of colour.”
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Last year (field scale chickpea production year 2) was a real struggle: drought through much of the season, intense heat in late May, then extraordinary rainfall in August. This year (chickpea year 3) hasn’t started much better to be honest: a cold start and prolonged wet conditions are not what chickpeas like.