By Kamilah Weeks, PVGrows Contributor
“How did sustainability become an issue that was so easily put in a marginal category of people who are clearly not all like everyone else? The Prius driving, NPR-[listening], pinot noir drinking, fleece wearing, upper middle class white suburban folks?
That is how we are perceived as a field. We’ve got to figure out how to change that, legitimately and authentically, as well as in our perceptions.
So a huge part of this work is really about being able to tell the story of the food system and to tell the story in ways that resonate with everyone, with messengers that also connect with everyone.”
Below is a 5-minute clip of Angela Park’s keynote speech. Watch the full talk here.
Over the past year, PVGrows staff and community members have discussed the role of race in the Pioneer Valley food system. To build a healthy food system, we must work to eliminate the disparities and inequities that remain in it. Of all the injustices in the conventional North American food system (economic, health, gender, etc.), race is often the most uncomfortable for people to address. To begin this conversation, PVGrows has formed a new working group called “Race and the Food System,” which will focus on understanding what racism is and how it relates to our food system work.
The first PVGrows “Race and the Food System” event will take place March 28th and will consist of a viewing and discussion of the video Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity (Thursday, March 28, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, in Northampton.). In this session, we hope to provide participants with a better understanding of the internal biases, social determinants, and structural powers that inform racism in the United States. The event is open to anyone interested in creating a healthier Pioneer Valley food system, regardless of her or his familiarity with racial justice frameworks. Event details.
PVGrows is committed to becoming a resource for you to connect with local initiatives to address race and the food system. As a part of this pledge, we are working to create spaces and share resources that cultivate racial justice. In this way, we hope to further the movement towards creating a more ecologically and economically sustainable food system.
Below is a list of upcoming racial justice oriented events:
- The “Undoing Racism” workshop, facilitated by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and organized by the Undoing Racism Collective of Western Massachusetts.
- Springfield, MA: April 5-7, 2013
- Springfield, MA: June 2013 (Youth-focused Session)
- Springfield, MA: March 21-22, 2013
- New York City, NY: July 23-24, 2013
- Transformational Experience of Glasswing Racial Healing (Invite Only)
- Springfield, MA: March 21 & 22, 2013
- Springfield, MA: June 27 & 28, 2013
PVGrows is partnering with Live Well Springfield, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council and Undoing Racism Organizing Collective to co-host a special Undoing Racism workshop for PVGrows members in Spring 2014. Details TBA. The intention of this collaboration is to create and sustain a more just and vibrant region in which people in food- and health-related fields can continue to support and challenge each other over the long term. To get involved, join the Race & the Food System Working Group here.
For more information:
Join the Race & the Food System Working Group by becoming a PVGrows member. (Make sure to check the box to join this working group.)