by Roland McReynolds, CFSA Executive Director | Wednesday, Jun. 3, 2020 —

We must be in this together banner

We are saddened and angered at the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, and we recognize this tragedy as yet another horrific indicator of the structural racism in America. Structural racism is especially prevalent in our nation’s food system. From the dispossession of indigenous people from their lands and the mass enslavement of Black people for agricultural labor during this nation’s origin period, to today’s food system that relies predominantly on underpaid immigrant and migrant Latinx farm and food processing workers, our society has treated people of color with disdain and violence. And yet most Americans today wouldn’t be able to eat were it not for their labors. Compounding the injustice, this food system does not deliver equitable nourishment to Black Americans, who are twice as likely to die from diabetes, and 2.5 times more likely to be food insecure, than white Americans.

Creating a food and farming system that is good for all people and the Earth depends on addressing the racial inequities upon which our current system is built. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Board of Directors recognized this in adopting our statement on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. As we grieve over George Floyd and the countless other Black people who have died due to anti-Black racism and oppression, we know that we and the sustainable agriculture movement cannot stand by while our nation’s institutions afflict people with suffering because of the color of their skin.

Our society has failed to value Black and brown lives equally to white ones, and we vow to play our part in changing that. Bringing racial equity to our food and agriculture system is at the forward edge of building a racially just society. CFSA is dedicated to the long, hard work it will take to achieve that goal.

We know we are not alone in this work. There are many excellent organizations addressing these issues in the Carolinas that we are learning from. Here are a few that we encourage you to connect with and support: