An Open Letter from BIPOC Leaders in Food & Agriculture to Food Systems Funders
We write to you as Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders in food and agriculture who work with hundreds of grassroots communities across the country who have been at and on the frontlines of food and agriculture justice work.
You’ve articulated your commitment to equity and to racial healing and we appreciate that. Now, it’s time to put words into action, and put your money where your mouth is.
We are deeply concerned by two recent incidents. We find 1) the recent Rockefeller, W.K. Kellogg (WKKF) and Walmart Foundation RFP on “Assessing the Impacts of COVID-19 Responses across the Food System” and 2) the WKKF-funded $200,000 grant to NCAT, a large, white-led, majority-white organization to do a “scan” of needs among BIPOC producers to be offensive and unacceptable.
As the world is faced with the unprecedented impacts of recent events, we invite you to see the urgency to unite and build together rather than continuing a pattern of paternalistic practices that entrench our marginalization, reinforce a culture of white supremacy, and devalue the knowledge and genius in our communities. And while many foundations around the country are having conversations and making moves to directly fund BIPOC-led groups to support their communities, it is high time for food systems funders to do the same.