Black Lives Matter today and everyday. Racism is morally wrong on all levels including on a systemic, institutional, and personal level.
Since the founding of our country, racism has been used to limit the wealth and well-being of Black communities while building the wealth of white communities. The very structure of our economic, law enforcement, justice, education, and legislative systems have institutionalized and ensured the continuation of racism for far too long. There is absolutely no question that our country’s legacy of racism is a fundamental reason that Black individuals and families face high rates of poverty and food insecurity.
As an organization that strives to build a community where people have the food they need to lead healthy lives, we cannot work to end hunger without also working to end racism. We acknowledge that as an organization, we have work to do both internally and externally. We have been slow to share a statement following the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, because we have taken the time to listen to our Black team members, have conversations as an organization, and start a conversation with our Board of Directors.
We are committed to more than just words. We are committed to action. We are committed to breaking down the barriers of racism internally at the Coalition, and as we work across the region with food pantries, soup kitchens, hunger fighters, and administrative and elected officials, on a national, state, and local level.
We are still figuring this out. This is ongoing. We know a path forward is not possible without learning more, creating concrete goals, and taking steps to ensure that Black Lives Matter in all aspects of our work.
Some of our initial steps:
Listening to the voices of our VIP (Victory in Partnership) pantry partners and incorporating their feedback into our work.
Combatting voter discrimination in preparation for the upcoming November election by providing education and training to the Black communities we serve on:
The importance of voting, including mail-in voting
How to complete a mail-in voting ballot
Voter registration deadlines
Ways to combat voter disenfranchisement—a common practice at polling locations in predominantly Black communities throughout the United States.
Holding monthly meetings as a team to continue our conversation around racism and identify long term goals.
We’ll be circling back with you as we identify additional steps we will take as an organization.