We cannot wait for organizations who have thrown Black people under the bus to suddenly care. We are in the middle of a pandemic and anticipating a global food shortage.
We are calling on people to support these women and their families during this time by helping them secure agricultural land, equipment and tools to ensure they can provide for their communities.
It’s time we give back as a way to make reparations, support their work and ensure Black families have what they need to survive.
These women lost their jobs during the pandemic, along with the majority of Black women working for the organization, with little to no warning. The organization used the funds to increase the salary of one of their white employees and rehire new staff for the same position. However, this is not an isolated incident
Non-for-profits are complicit in keeping Black communities in poverty. While many organizations claim to help Black communities, there is often little representation of Black community members, organizers and farmers in their executive level staff or board of directors. Rarely are Black people, particularly those who come from “priority neighbourhoods” ever given the chance to speak and advocate for themselves. They are almost exclusively hired at entry-level positions where they are paid below a living wage and never given the chance to work their way up the organization even when they have the skills and education required.
Food Justice is a concept that was born out of the struggle for Black people to survive and thrive. It has been used as a tool to allow for self determination and freedom, yet it has been appropriated by non-for profit organizations to get more funding while erasing Black people from the discussion.
In the United States Black farmers have lost 90% of their agricultural land due to systemic anti-Black racism. The statists are no different in Canada. The vast majority of Black settlements across the country have been violently destroyed, or are severely threatened. Black neighbourhoods continue to be violently gentrified. Since the first slave ships arrived in the so-called Americas, Black people have been robbed of their ability to self-determine.
Currently Black households are more than 3 times more likely to be food insecure than white households. 36.6% of Black children live in food insecure households compared to 12.4% of white children.
During this time, many people are realizing the need to support Black communities fighting against anti-Black racism. While responding to police violence is important, it is also essential we support long-term initiatives that build capacity, food security and economic freedom for Black women.
We ask that you donate generously, with the understanding that this work is necessary and instrumental in ensuring Black communities have what they need.
We encourage you to organize a fundraiser in your community to help raise funds. This can look like a raffle, a community dinner, a concert, calling your friends and family and asking them to chip in, etc. (all while remaining safe).
If you would like to organize a fundraiser or donate land please send a message and I will ensure it is passed on.
- Gladys Rowe
- Jessica Drennan
- Sarah Copoc
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