NSAC Statement on Racial Equity

Published in March 2016

We affirm that racial equity – an understanding and acknowledgement of historical and ongoing racial inequities and a commitment to actions challenging those inequities – is a core tenet of our coalition’s outlook and will be embedded in its structure, analysis, and policy development and advocacy process.

Sustainable agriculture has been a long-standing practice in the communities of people of color, migrants, and indigenous groups.  We believe that participation and leadership from sustainable agriculture pioneers as well as newer practitioners – diverse farmers, ranchers, and farm workers – is vital to building the power of the sustainable agriculture movement and increasing its influence on federal policy.

Because of our commitment to a racially just and equitable food and farm system, we are working strategically and collaboratively to:

  • Build a racial equity lens into our organization’s strategic planning, policy and priority setting process, and issue committee strategy and implementation work;
  • Build pathways to increase participation and leadership of organizations with diverse constituencies in our coalition, and amplify the voices of diverse participants within the broader movement;
  • Actively challenge policies that perpetuate systems of oppression and inequities in the food and farm system;
  • Engage in and support the efforts of organizations led by those most affected by food and farm system inequities and strengthen our role as an effective ally to food justice, farmer/ rancher of color, and farm/ food worker organizations; and
  • Create an ongoing, intra-coalition dialogue to explore key concepts including cultural, structural and institutional racism, white privilege, racial equity, and allyship, especially in regard to the context of these issues in food and farming systems.

We recognize that our objectives require ongoing reflection and action.  We also recognize the need for adaptation as we encounter new perspectives and additional information; as such, this statement must be a “living” statement, able to be amended as we gain new understandings.

We also know that we are part of a larger network of like-minded organizations and coalitions striving to fulfill the goals of racial equity within the food and farming system.  It is our intent that our member groups and allies hold us – and each other – accountable to these goals and that we work together to collaboratively address the racial equity issues that most affect farmers, ranchers, workers, and communities.

Related NSAC Resources: There is No Future for Sustainable Food and Farming Without Racial Justice