Inclusion. Partnership. A statement from Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Good Shepherd Food Bank stands in solidarity with Black communities by denouncing the horrific acts of injustice and violence perpetrated against Black people in our country. This moment demands great accountability and has called us to reflect upon the impact of racial inequities in our work and to take stock of our responsibility and our actions.
We acknowledge that too often the intent to live our values has been greater than our actions. Lack of access to healthy, nourishing, and culturally appropriate foods is a symptom of systemic racism and perpetuates the oppression of communities of color. While 13.6% of Mainers suffer from food insecurity, the rate of food insecurity for households headed by Mainers of color is more than twice that at 28%.
Throughout our country’s history, denying food has been used as a tool to oppress communities of color. Good Shepherd Food Bank must recognize this systemic link to our work and actively engage our core values of partnership and inclusion to resist and dismantle oppressive systems by working alongside Mainers of color to restore a more just and equitable food system.
In this moment we hold ourselves accountable by committing to:
- Accelerating equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout our organization. We will prioritize learning and awareness-building opportunities that extend to our staff, board of directors, and our network of hunger-relief partners. We will build in structural and organizational support to hold accountability for action from our learning.
- Actively addressing the inclusion of people of color at all levels of our organization. We will hold at the center of our decisions and actions the voices and experiences of those most impacted by racial injustice and inequity.
- Authentically engaging leaders of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and all communities of color to inform our current and future strategies and investments addressing food access within and across these communities. We will work internally to ensure we are ready, personally and organizationally, to receive, accept, and meaningfully respond to feedback from these leaders.
- Listening, learning, and taking action, however imperfect our efforts may be. We will acknowledge when we misstep, and we will share our learning.
We stand together not just against racism and hate, but against all systems of oppression, and dedicate ourselves to our vision for a Maine where no one suffers from the injustice of hunger, regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality.