The Kent County Food Policy Council acknowledges that our food and farming system is built and maintained on a foundation of oppression and systemic racism toward Indigenous peoples, Black people, people of color, and immigrants. We also acknowledge that race intersects with other marginalized identities, such as gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability, class, and age, with a greater impact on those that hold more than one of these identities. A food and farming system that is not just, equitable, and inclusive is not sustainable, and in order to create the food and farming system that the world needs, it is imperative that we dismantle oppression and work towards racial equity.
Racial equity is the fair treatment of people of all races. We will achieve racial equity in the food and farming system when race no longer determines one’s access to dignity and good food, land, jobs, housing, and health; when race no longer determines who is impacted by climate change or environmental hazards; when every person, regardless of race, has what they need to thrive. Racial equity is not simply the absence of discrimination. It requires more than equal distribution of resources to everyone despite their existing needs or assets. It is a process by which we establish and maintain deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures. It requires that we prioritize the allocation of resources, decision making and power to those who have been most impacted by the injustice of our current food and farming system.
Public policy has played a central role in institutionalizing racism. As a countywide network that works for policy change, the KCFPC believes that advancing policies that center racial equity and are rooted in frontline communities is an important strategy for transforming systems and creating lasting change.
Note: Our commitment to racial equity is an ongoing process of learning, action and accountability and this equity statement is a living document. If you would like to add feedback to this process please contact us.