Posted June 3, 2020
Dear colleagues and friends,
The FINE Network Advisory Council and staff are saddened and angered by the most recent racist atrocities in a 400 year history of violence that have ignited our nation to action. We join partners who recognize the structural and systemic racism at the root of our food system and our society. From the fields and docks where our food is harvested, to the kitchens where it is prepared and served, to the tables where we sit to eat, the culture of white supremacy defines our wealth, health, safety, and freedoms. This must change.
FINE’s mission is to leverage the power of institutions to transform the food system, and through it, society. Institutions have great resources, talented people, influence, purchasing power, and the potential to be generative anchors in our communities. And institutions are also a part of the problem when they reinforce the racial injustices and other inequities that are deeply rooted in their history.
At its heart, our collective work is food justice work. Our network is in service of social and racial justice when it works to provide healthy food to all school children, inspires sustainable menus and research on college campuses, ensures staff and patients in hospitals have access to food that heals, and transforms prison food from a form of punishment to a means of restoration.
At FINE we are more committed than ever to dismantling racism and white supremacy in our work. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working group is meeting bimonthly, FINE staff are in deep discussion with advisors as we develop a public commitment to DEI work, and we are participating in a year-long collaborative to advance racial equity with two allied organizations. We know there is more that we can and must do to create the conditions in which a just food system can take hold.
We appreciate our partners who are leading the way through their bold action, words, and guidance in the fight for racial justice. As we march forward during these turbulent times of unrest, amidst the pains of the global pandemic, we are better together.
Here are some resources that inspire us to:
- Educate and challenge ourselves on racial equity - Food Solutions New England and the Racial Equity Challenge and Racial Equity Tools
- Support organizations and businesses committed to racial equity and owned by BIPOC - New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund and this list by Civil Eats
- Support workers in the food system - Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Food Chain Workers Alliance
- Recognize the native lands that we live and work on - Native Land Map
- Vote for leaders at all levels of government who will represent our values. Register to vote.
- Listen. Talk. Act. - Know Your Rights when protesting, and Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do
FINE Executive Director