Supporting a Diverse Populace for a Sustainable Future

On August 12, white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia and counterprotesters standing for justice were injured or killed during the event. First and foremost, our hearts are with the families of Heather Heyer and with those injured in this terrible tragedy.

We want to be clear, NCAP condemns all forms of violence, hate and demonstrations focused on hate. We believe that the only way to a safe, healthy and sustainable future is by standing united and celebrating the diversity that exists in our nation.

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Farmer Safiya Abdi (red hijab, center) of Safari Farm in Boise, Idaho with her husband and children. Read Safiya's story here. Photo courtesy Global Gardens.

With Charlottesville and other, recent tragedies motivated by hate and racism, NCAP staff and board are becoming more informed and taking action as a team, so that NCAP can continue to support racial equity throughout our region and at the national level.

Here are our commitments to being an anti-racist organization:

  • NCAP values equity, diversity and inclusion within our organization and with our partners to further our mission. We seek to understand and address historical and current patterns of oppression and racism within our organization and in how we do our work.

  • NCAP established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in 2015 and began researching how we can become a more equitable organization. What began as work on a meaningful Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement to provide us with direction has culminated in a goal of including diverse voices at every step of our work, from project planning to implementation.

  • In order to achieve the goal of integrating racial and broader, social equity throughout our work, we recently began an equity audit of our organization (funded by the Meyer Memorial Trust). With the assistance of an equity coach, the audit will help us develop a tangible plan for diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization.

  • One of our current policy projects is to hold governmental agencies accountable for the policies they enact. NCAP is a proud member organization of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and our Healthy Food and Farms Program Director, Dr. Jade Florence, serves as co-chair of the NSAC Diversity Committee. With NSAC, we’re working on understanding how USDA grants serve a diverse population of farmers, healthy food advocates and researchers. By understanding who these grants currently serve and identifying which groups are underserved, we can begin the work of advocating for administrative and policy changes to allow the breadth of grant work conducted via public funding to equitably serve all communities.

    • For an example of how Farm Bill policies impact communities of color check out this publication from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

    • Another example is the federal Worker Protection Standards that changed in 2016. NCAP wrote a letter in support of better protections from pesticides for farmworkers.

What can you do?

Get informed!

  • The first step to undoing our unconscious and conscious biases is to become aware of them. You can take a Harvard Bias Test here to see where your unconscious bias lies.

  • You can learn about the historical context of racism in America by watching documentaries such as The Thirteenth on Netflix and Dirt and Deeds in Mississippi or by learning about how structural racism has historically existed within the environmental movement.

  • Immigrants work hard to put food on our tables across the country. Did you know that more than half of your last meal was probably comprised of food produced with undocumented immigrant labor? It is estimated that at least 6 out of 10 of our country’s farm workers are undocumented (Southern Poverty Law Center). The vast majority of workers – 78%, according to the most recent National Agricultural Workers Survey – are foreign-born and crossed a border to get here. Once here, not only do undocumented farm workers face major challenges on the job, occupational exposure to pesticides is greater for farm workers and they also face hostility and discrimination. Read more about farm workers and immigration here.

  • Some other great resources can be found at: Southern Poverty Law Center, One America and Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training.

Get involved!

  • Contact your local representatives and ask them to protect immigrant rights. We need a comprehensive overhaul of our immigration system in order to bring justice to farm workers. This means changing the current system while also preventing the further criminalization of immigrants.

  • Hold your elected officials accountable when they fail to speak out against acts of domestic terrorism committed by white nationalists, KKK, neo-nazi members, and any group promoting hate and violence.

  • Get united and stay united! Go to your local farmers market and support the booths of your local farmers of color.

  • Support efforts to protect farm workers from pesticide exposure, such as passing Pesticide Use Reporting and notification requirements in Washington. Read the Washington State Report we co-authored about human exposure to pesticide drift here.

Together, we stand united against divisionist tactics and we move towards a sustainable future that is inclusive, equitable and diverse.

 

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  • commented 2017-09-17 07:57:28 -0700
    One sided article.
  • commented 2017-08-28 18:20:05 -0700
    White nationalists, etc. are despicable, but so is the damage and hate that the anarchists subject us to (see all of the damage done to Portland by them!). Elected officials have to discredit ALL hate and violence!