Following the 2020 protests, Slow Food Greater Olympia shared the following statement:
Black Lives Matter: A Statement from the Slow Food Greater Olympia Board
Slow Food Greater Olympia stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We’re committed to taking an active role in the dismantling of White supremacy and systemic racism. We acknowledge that our society’s oppressive systems deny a disproportionate number of Black and Brown people access to nutrient-dense, fairly sourced food that is sustainably grown, raised, gathered, or harvested. White supremacy is baked into our institutions and systems. As a historically White-led organization, we acknowledge that we have perpetuated harm and upheld inequalities inherent in these systems.
In order to live into our tagline—“good, clean, fair food for everyone”—Slow Food Greater Olympia commits to exploring our inherent biases. We ask to be held accountable for learning about racial injustice in ourselves, our community, and our local food system and taking concrete steps toward greater racial equity. In the immediate future, our board pledges to identify specific ways for our board and chapter center and listen to the voices of Black and Indigenous people of color (BIPOC) within our local food system. As a start, we will act on what we learn by amplifying the efforts of local farms, businesses, programs, and community efforts that make access to good, clean, fair food more attainable and to advocate for food policies that address racial injustice.
In August, our board met to discuss next steps and identified these actions. We submitted them to Slow Food USA and sent them out to our membership via newsletter and social media feed. We seek and encourage accountability and participation.
Slow Food Greater Olympia Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Commitments 1. We commit to acknowledging the huge agricultural contributions made by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian growers, farmers, and fishers throughout history and reject the whitewashing of this history. (EIJ Manifesto, #8) We will raise awareness of and pass the microphone to Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian farmers and food system advocates in our community, starting this fall.
2. We commit to finding creative and meaningful ways to invoke the Indigenous ancestral homelands and waters where we hold events and conferences. (EIJ Manifesto, #9) For all events going forward—virtual or in person—we will acknowledge the Native keepers of the land and the water and continually refine the ways we do this. We will not settle for a boiler plate.
3. We commit to continuously reviewing our website, promotional materials, and event descriptions for language and images that highlight racial/social justice and to use inclusive, appropriate language. (EIJ Manifesto, #10) Starting this fall, we will revise the language on our website, add sections or pages to acknowledge BIPOC farmers and others who have contributed, and seek guidance and accountability for the ways we use language.
4. We commit to identifying one national or regional issue where food and race intersect to work on as a chapter. This is something we will commit to for several years. We will also state our opinion on public policy tied to agricultural issues, especially those that intersect with equity, inclusion, and justice issues. We will choose an issue by the end of 2020.
5. We commit to inviting and onboarding more BIPOC people to our board and advisory committee. Our goal is to bring on two or more BIPOC members of our board or advisory committee within the next two years.
6. We commit to holding educational events around food justice, beginning this fall. These may include book or article studies, film discussions, and cooking classes.