FINYS Statement of Solidarity
The Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) team would like to express our collective outrage and grief over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Oluwatoyin Salau, as well as the thousands of Black lives taken in our country as part of a legacy of racial injustice. We actively stand against racism of any kind, especially the anti-Black racism that is the historical foundation of our nation.
We understand that racism is deeply embedded in both the agricultural and educational systems that FINYS works within. Despite having a long history of agricultural knowledge and expertise, only .5% of farmland in the United States is owned by Black farmers, and many Black and Brown communities face daily inequities in access to healthy, nutritious, and local foods. We also acknowledge that many schools within Black and Brown communities continue to be underfunded, under-resourced, and especially in the state of New York, zoned based on the state’s former segregation laws, which were never properly dismantled.
Given these troubling realities, and the FINYS mission to support the economic viability of ALL farmers, including BIPOC farmers, as well as strengthen the health of New Yorkers through empowering institutions to purchase local, nutritious food, we remain dedicated to increasing access and equity through our programming. We commit to undoing racism in our work and organization, we will work with leaders of color in this field, and we will advocate to make Farm to School in New York representative of our state’s incredible racial diversity.
We commit to listening and remaining open to feedback from all stakeholders, especially our BIPOC-centered partner organizations and thought leaders, as we take action against dismantling the current system of white supremacy. Our hearts go out to the families, friends, and loved ones of the numerous victims who have lost their lives at the hands of racism. We stand with the millions of people who have been traumatized by a long history of racism and condemn all perpetrators of anti-Black violence. We stand in solidarity in dismantling the historic white privilege and supremacy within our country.
To this end, FINYS is committed to helping to remedy these injustices in the work we do and bring intention to who we do it for. Our program is actively taking steps to ensure our programs, including the NYS Farm to School Institute, is both equitable and accessible for all school districts in the state. This year, we are developing training tools to guide schools in using their Farm to School programs to address racial equity and food justice in their own communities. We have been, and continue to be, dedicated to expanding representation on our Leadership Team and collaborating with BIPOC organizations and experts in our programming efforts. Internally, the FINYS team recognizes that learning and challenging our own biases is an ongoing process, and we have resolved to engage in education that focuses on the Black experience in America. We are sharing this resource list with you in hopes of inspiring advocacy, allyship, and collective improvement for our Black communities.
Real Food Reads: The Labor of Lunch- Jennifer Gaddis
Code Switch: Black Parents Take Control, Teachers Strike Back
Code Switch: A Tale of Two School Districts
The Doctor’s Farmacy: Why Food is A Social Justice Issue with Leah Penniman
The Doctor’s Farmacy: Speaking Up About the Things That Matter: Hidden Forms of Racism
Good Food (KCRW): Black Farmers, Juneteenth, Cooking Solo
How to Be An Antiracist - Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
Me and White Supremacy – Layla F. Saad
Farming While Black – Leah Penniman
The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming - Natasha Bowens
Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability - Alison Hope Alkon & Julian Agyeman
The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools – Jennifer E. Gaddis
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? - Beverly Daniel Tatum
Black Food Geographies - Ashante M. Reese
Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century - Kyla Wazana Tompkins
Freedom Farmers - Monica M. White
“Students of Color See a Future in Agriculture, but Farming Is a Tougher Sell” - Sarah Mock
“We don't farm because it's trendy; we farm as resistance, for healing and sovereignty” – Ashley Gripper
“75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” – Corinne Shutack
“Resources for Racial Justice in the Hudson Valley” – Chronogram Staff
“Black Farmers Are Embracing Climate-Resilient Farming” – Leah Penniman
“A New Generation of Black Farmers Is Returning to the Land” – Leah Penniman
“There were nearly a million black farmers in 1920. Why have they disappeared?” – Summer Sewell
“Want to See Food and Land Justice for Black Americans? Support These Groups.” – Civil Eats
“How to Fight Back Against Injustice in Your School Cafeteria” – Jennifer Gaddis
“What’s in a Social Justice Diet?” – Ray Levy-Uyeda
BOOKS FOR STUDENTS:
Multicultural Collection of Farm to ECE Books
Anti-Racism Resources For Parents and White People (list compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein):