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By 2025, 100% of Communities Will Hold Power in a Racially Just Food System
National Farm to School Network has a vision of a racially just food system for all, and we work to achieve that vision through farm to school – the ways kids eat, grow, and learn about food in schools and early care and education settings. Two years ago, we embarked on a systems mapping process to sketch out the next chapter of farm to school’s evolution. After receiving input from our network of partners and members, one thing was very clear: Inequities based on race persist, and we will not achieve a racially just food system if we do not dismantle these inequities.
So we’re issuing a call to action for ourselves and for our entire food system: By 2025, 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system.
We share this call to action as a pressing need that none of us can reach alone. It’s going to take all of us, and it’s achievable if we each offer our time, talents and resources to make it happen. Read on below to learn more and find ways to join us in taking action towards this goal.
WATCH: Helen Dombalis, NFSN Executive Director, share the story behind our call to action during our 2020 Movement Meeting.
Dig Deeper Into the Call to Action
This one-pager overview provides background information about the state of our current food system, the history of the National Farm to School Network, where we need to go, and how this call to action will get us there. Read more here.
Our Commitment to Racial Equity
National Farm to School Network is committed to advancing racial equity and correcting injustices in our food system. On our equity webpage, read about how farm to school is a strategy for change, our commitment to equity throughout all aspects of our work, and find resources that can be helpful to your efforts. Read more here.
Levers for Change
There are many overlapping and intersecting movements and systems that need to activate in order to to move towards this call to action. For us at National Farm to School Network, this means focusing on how farm to school must shift and adapt to support communities in holding power in a racially just food system. Through the systems mapping process, we identified three equity-centered priority areas that will help move us the further distances in the shortest amount of time to meet this call to action:
Relationships: Which relationships – with organizations and individuals in communities – will shift power and achieve a racially just food system?
Strategies: What transformational and outcome-driven strategies will eliminate bias and redistribute power to achieve a racially just food system?
Programs and policy: What program and policies will shift power and achieve a racially just food system?
Not only is there opportunity for everyone to contribute to our call to action, but it will take all of us. For each lever for systems change, we're developing a corresponding Working Group – and we hope you'll join one (or more!).
Who can join a group? Anyone is invited to join one, two, or all of the groups. We will not achieve our goal without many people at the table and without shifting power so those who historically do not hold power not only have a seat at the table but also make the decisions.
What is the work of the working groups? Groups will collaboratively develop short-term goals related to each lever and then work towards the goals, tracking progress and impact and adjusting course as needed.
How much time am I being asked to commit? You do not have to commit a certain amount of time. Working groups will meet regularly, and work towards the goals will be ongoing. The idea behind participation in the call to action and working groups is for the work to be valuable to you and a way of contributing to your own work, not something “extra” to take on.
For what time frame will the working groups exist? Until the work is done. Certainly, until 2025. The process and operations of working groups will be evaluated at least annually. If you are interested, sign up for now, and participate as it is meaningful for you.
Is signing up expressing interest, or making a commitment? Expressing interest. We are not asking for firm commitments. This is a call to action for everyone, so do what works for you.
The inequities in our current food system are as old as the history of settler colonialism, stolen land from Indigenous peoples, and forced enslavement of African peoples, on whose backs, literally, our American agricultural system was built. It is beyond time for achieving a racially just food system to be a priority for our movement and why we’re calling for coordinated action.
We share this call to action as a pressing need that none of us can reach alone. It’s going to take all of us. It’s achievable if we each offer our time, talents and resources to make it happen. Here’s how you can join us: