We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and those protesting structural inequality in the country, either out in the streets or other forms of action.
Our response comes late as we have been examining our own accountability for the persistence of systemic inequality.
The Growing Project cannot say it is a food justice organization without actively combating racial injustice. We have a responsibility to confront the paradox of working to dismantle institutionalized racism as a predominantly white organization.
Devastating current events call upon us to reflect on the deep-rooted reality of racial inequities in the food system—from BIPOC land loss, reduced access to healthy food structures, and USDA and governmental institutions making land out of reach for BIPOC farmers.
The Executive Director and Board are questioning what we are doing to achieve food justice. If our manifesto is “Food. Justice. People,” these commitments need to manifest in our actions. How are we working with our community to combat racism? How does food justice relate to racism, to police violence, to homelessness, to immigration, to healthcare? How might we ourselves be negatively contributing to these systemic injustices? As individuals, what does food justice mean, and what are we going to do?
We don’t have all of the answers. But we know we can do better. In the coming weeks, months, and greater future of our organization, The Growing Project will act upon our ideals of inclusivity and recommoning the land in concrete ways.
We challenge Fort Collins and Northern Colorado--the advocacy groups, nonprofits, businesses, governmental institutions, charitable foundations, and individuals--to also question, collaborate, and activate.
Food justice begins with justice for every life. And justice for every life is the responsibility of everyone.
Here are some resources for learning and getting involved.
Masterlist of resources on how to dismantle systemic racism: pfw.guide
Fort Collins' Understanding and Resisting Divide-Conquer Tactics
Denver's Frontline Farmers - a POC led farmers advocacy organization
Denver's Woodbine Ecology Center promoting indigenous values and sustainable communities
Listen and Read
Southern Foodways Alliance: Fighting for the Promised Land – A Story of Farming & Racism
Point of Origin – a podcast uplifting the voices of women and people of colo
The Atlantic: How Black Americans Were Robbed of Their Land
Vice: The Young Black Farmers Defying A Legacy of Discrimination
Freedom Farmers, Monica White
Farming While Black, Leah Penniman
Black Farmers in America, John Francis Ficara
Dispossession: Discrimination Against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights, Pete Daniels
What’s In A Social Justice Diet?, Rav Levy-Uyeda
Indignant Heart, Charles Denby
Survival Pending Revolution, Raj Patel
Verso Books is providing a limited time free download of “The End of Policing”
Reparations for Black & Indigenous Land – A Map
Black-owned farms and gardens
Organizations fighting for Black food sovereignty from Civil Eats:
Black Church Food Security Network works to connect Black communities and other urban communities of color with Black farmers in hopes of advancing food and land sovereignty. Read more.
Black Dirt Farm Collective is a collective of Black farmers, educators, scientists, agrarians, seed keepers, organizers, and researchers guiding a political education process.
Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Cooperative of Pittsburgh works with Black communities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to grow food and to share Black cultural traditions through a farm, youth program, and policy work. Read more.
Black Urban Growers (BUGS) is committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, it nurtures collective Black leadership.
Castanea Fellowship offers a two-year fellowship for diverse leaders working for a racially just food system in any of the areas of health, environment, agriculture, regional economies, or community development. Read more.
Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) is a queer and transgender people of color-led organization that partners with young folks of color to build food and land co-ops.
Detroit Black Community Food Security Network ensures that Detroit’s African American population participates in the food movement through urban farming, youth education programs and the much-anticipated Detroit People’s Food Co-op. Read more.
Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (FARMS) is a legal nonprofit, committed to assisting Black farmers and landowners in retaining their land for the next generation. Read more.
Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is a non-profit cooperative association of Black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives, with a primary membership base in the Southern States.
Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. Read more.
Food First works to end the injustices that cause hunger through research, education, and action.
Freedom School Demonstration Farm runs a Fresno, California-based program aimed at empowering Black and brown youth to grow their own food. Read more.
HEAL Food Alliance brings together groups from various sectors of movements for food and farm justice to grow community power, develop political leadership, and exposing and limiting corporate control of the food system. Read more.
The Land Loss Prevention Project responds to the unprecedented losses of Black-owned land in North Carolina by providing comprehensive legal services and technical support to financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners. Read more.
The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States.
National Black Food and Justice Alliance organizes for Black food and land, by increasing the visibility of visionary Black leadership, advancing Black people’s struggle for just and sustainable communities, and building power in our food systems and land stewardship. Read more.
New Communities Land Trust is a grassroots organization that has worked for more than 40 years to empower African American families in Southwest Georgia and advocate for social justice. Read more.
The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust advance land sovereignty in the Northeast through permanent and secure land tenure for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian farmers and land stewards.
Planting Justice works to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities through a nursery, land trust, and various community farming efforts. Read more.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United is fighting to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce. Read more.
Sankofa Farms seeks create a sustainable food source for minorities in both rural and urban areas located in Durham and Orange County, North Carolina.
The Seeding Power Fellowship is an innovative 18-month, cohort-based food justice fellowship program. Read more.
Soil Generation is a Philadelphia-based Black- and Brown-led coalition of growers building a grassroots movement through urban farming, agroecology, community education, and more. Read more.
Soul Fire Farm is a Black, Indigenous, and people of color-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Read more.
Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network is a regional network for Black farmers committed to using ecologically sustainable practices to manage land, grow food, and raise livestock that are healthy for people and the planet. Read more.