|In order to seek justice in our food system, we must seek justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Joel Acevedo, Dontre Hamilton, and the exploitation and violence against other Black, Brown and Indigenous brothers and sisters in our community and across the country. Racism has run deep in our food and agricultural ecosystems for centuries and we must work to dismantle it. We can not achieve a healthy, equitable food system if we are not willing to do racial justice work. |
The Milwaukee Food Council Board of Directors is committed to leading our organization as one that is anti-racist. Our council has articulated racial and social justice as core values of our work, yet not always invested effort and resources in these values. We will make no excuses for our past — instances where our intent and our impact were misaligned; where conditions of supremacy were upheld — we must own that. At the same time, we make a declaration to invest in an anti-racist present and future — one that seeks to understand and dismantle conditions that keep us from achieving true equity in our food system.
We honor the legacy those that came before us have built; a legacy that has at many times been led by diverse voices and centered in community. You have entrusted us to steward the trails we’ve collectively blazed over the last 12 years, and we take this responsibility seriously. Now, as a predominantly white-led organization, we know that we do not represent the diversity of our Milwaukee community. In order to recruit and retain board members and stakeholders that represent our community, we must educate ourselves so that we can better understand why our current board and organizational environment is not supportive, and at times even harmful, to our colleagues and neighbors who identify as Black, Brown, and Indigenous.
We also know that those communities should not have to bear the heavy burden of our learning. At our May 28, 2020 board meeting, we unanimously voted to: Commit over half of our available funds to a consultant that will help us examine and renew our commitment to anti-racism, equity, and diversity. As of May 1, 2020, the Milwaukee Food Council has $1,710 in our bank account. Actively seek additional grant funding specifically for racial justice work. Assemble a monthly reading schedule and list of resources on racism and racial justice as they relate to our food system. We will post our reading schedule and resources online so that our stakeholders can grow with us and hold us accountable to our learning and dismantling. The Board of Directors will be required to read along schedule, and to discuss these resources at each monthly board meeting and each general member meeting moving forward. As a board of directors and as an organization, we have great strides to make. If there are additional racial equity building strategies that you wish for the Milwaukee Food Council membership or Board of Directors to engage in, please feel welcome to connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://milwaukeefoodcouncil.org/contact/.
Statement also available in PDF format.