Monday March 16
3 – 5pm
Philanthropy New York
79 5th Ave, 4th floor
Or watch the event live online!
[UPDATE: A video recording of this event is now available online]
“We can’t rebuild the public sphere without addressing the issues which divide us… Understanding where and how racism manifests in the food system, recognizing it within our movement, organizations and within ourselves is not extra work for transforming our food system; it is the work.” – Eric Holt-Giménez
CFF is excited to be working with Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of Food First, to host a presentation and discussion on the global food system, food movements, and the role that race plays in each. Eric is a food system researcher, agroecologist, and author of several books including Food Movements Unite: Strategies To Transform Our Food Systems and Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice. Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy was among the first to point out that the cause of hunger is poverty and injustice—not scarcity—and has been exploding myths and inspiring change in our food system for 40 years. Eric was also recently announced as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Just Food Conference.
The following description was written by Eric for the purposes of this meeting:
The modern food system, dominated by global monopolies, has been shaped by the privatization of public goods and the deregulation of corporate capital, leading to the highest levels of global inequality in economic history. The staggering social and environmental costs of this transition have hit people of color the hardest, reflected inter alia in the record levels of hunger and the massive northern migrations of impoverished farmers in the Global South, and an epidemic of diet-related diseases and high levels of unemployment, incarceration and violence in underserved communities of color in the Global North.
Globalization has also crippled our capacity to respond to these problems by destroying much of the public sphere. Consciously or not, in many ways the community food movement, with its projects for a fair, sustainable, healthy food system is rebuilding our public sphere from the ground up. But as many organizations have discovered, we can’t rebuild the public sphere without addressing the issues which divide us. For many communities this means addressing racism in the food system. The community food movement itself is not immune from the structural injustices that it seeks to overcome. Because of the pervasiveness of white privilege and internalized oppression in our society, racism in the food system can and does resurface within the food movement, even with the best of intentions. It does no good to push the issue to the side because this undermines the trust we need to be able to work together. Understanding where and how racism manifests itself in the food system, recognizing it within our movement and our organizations and within ourselves is not extra work for transforming our food system; it is the work.
Easily digestible background material from the Food First Backgrounders collection
- This Land is Whose Land? Eric Holt-Giménez (Spring, 2014)
- What the Black Panthers can teach the food Movement, Raj Patel (Summer 2012)
- Beyond Voting with your Fork, Josh Viertel (Spring 2012)
- Grabbing the Food Deserts, Yi Wang with Eric Holt-Giménez and Annie Shattuck (Spring 2011)
- Youth and Food Justice: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement, Anim Steel (Fall 2010)
- Food Workers-Food Justice: Linking food, labor and immigrant rights, Eric Holt-Giménez, Zoe Brent & Annie Shattuck (Summer 2010)
- The Last Plantation, Anuradha Mittal with Joan Powell (Winter 2000)
And additional suggested reading materials supplied by Eric Holt-Giménez
- Building the Case for Racial Equity in the Food-System, Center for Social Inclusion (2014)
- Food Justice: What’s Race got to do with it? David Billings and Lila Cabbil (2011)
- Reform or Transformation: The Pivotal Role of Food Justice in the U.S. Food Movement, Eric Holt-Giménez and Yi Wang (2011)
- On the personal problems of racism and allyship, Ricky Sherover-Marcuse (collected writings)
- Structural Racism, Poverty & Race Research Action Council (2006)
- Structural Racism and Our Food: understanding the problem; identifying solutions, Center for Social Inclusion (a presentation)
- Dismantling Racism Through The Food System: Basic Readings, Growing Power (a collection)