We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, friends, family, and community members as we mourn the Black lives taken from us by the police or because of broader systems of white supremacy. Violence enacted against Black lives and Black communities through systemic racism touches every facet of society–our criminal justice system, education, housing, healthcare, and in our food system too.
We know that there cannot be a just food system without racial justice, and so as representatives of the farmers’ market community, the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets stands in solidarity with the movement for racial justice and the Black Lives Matter Movement. We know that race has determined who has had access to land, food, work and safety, and who has not. We know that the history of food is also the history of dispossession and slavery, a history whose effects are still being felt today.
Because we recognize the history of anti-Black structural racism in the food system we think it is necessary to interrogate the ways that anti-Black racism can show up in our organizations and at our farmers’ markets.
The Alliance commits to a practice of continued education on racial justice in the food system and to developing steps that we can take to center racial justice in our work with the farmers’ market community.
We know that the Movement for Black lives (M4BL) and racial justice is intersectional and inclusive. This struggle impacts and includes other social movements for justice. Alicia Garza, one of the people who coined #BlackLivesMatter and catalyzed the movement, explains the thinking behind the slogan: “(Black lives) are important to your liberation. Given the disproportionate impact state violence has on Black lives, we understand that when Black people in this country get free, the benefits will be wide-reaching and transformative for society as a whole.”
We agree. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter for Black liberation, and for a healthy, sustainable, and just food system.
In solidarity/ in community/ with love/ with care/ with gratitude & grit,
The California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets Steering Committee:
Madaly Alcala, Food and Farming Program Manager – Ecology Center
Carle Brinkman, Food and Farming Program Director – Ecology Center
Portia Bramble, Executive Director – North Coast Growers’ Association
Elizabeth Bowman, Farmers’ Market Operations Director – Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
Ben Palazzolo, Director of Direct Marketing – Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
Julie Schwarz, Market Manager – SoCal Farmers’ Markets
Tanya Wolf Small, Chief Operations Officer – Agricultural Institute of Marin
LaTisha Sohai, Healthy Foods Program Coordinator – Alchemist Community Development Corporation
Paul Stonebarger – Farmer, Ghiggari & Stonebarger Farms
Erin Tormey, Founder – Coastside Farmers’ Markets/Irish Ridge Ranch
Catt Fields White, Director – San Diego Markets
Farmers’ Market Access & Equity Team at the Ecology Center
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