The Food Policy Networks project has made a formal commitment to reevaluate, refocus, and ground our work in racial and socioeconomic justice. With this commitment, we—the staff and advisors supporting both a network and individual food policy councils—are challenging ourselves to make equity a central part of our work so that everyone—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, income, nationality, religion, sexual preference, physical ability or age—can fully participate in shaping a sustainable and healthy food system.
Here you will find the Food Policy Networks project’s Commitment to Equity, select tools and resources for food policy councils to integrate equity into their policy work on food systems, and examples of how food policy councils are approaching equity.
Food Policy Networks Project Commitment to Equity
We are committed to supporting a just food system as a priority in our work to engage people in the policy process.
Historical and abiding inequities across race, class, and geographic areas have fueled many of the problems of the U.S. food system. Communities of color, people living in poverty, indigenous groups, rural communities, (im)migrants, and youth have traditionally been underrepresented in the policymaking process that has helped to shape the U.S. food system. We are stepping up our efforts to elevate these voices in decision-making processes. We believe that our food system will be more equitable, resilient, and healthy with the leadership and engagement of missing voices in shaping public policy.
The FPN project avows to embed this commitment in our work by:
- Bringing an equity lens into our strategic planning and priority setting process;
- Creating a welcoming space for racially and economically diverse participants to engage in and guide the work of this informal network of food policy councils;
- Being intentional about directing our time, resources and support to communities most affected by food and farm system inequities to increase their capacity to influence food policy;
- Creating spaces for FPN members to better understand how to recognize and challenge inequities in the food system and make changes to move toward a more just and equitable food system for all;
- Collaborating with, supporting, and seeking accountability from other organizations and coalitions led by those most affected by food and farm inequalities and working to advance racial and socioeconomic justice; and
- Continually reflecting on how our organizational structure and actions uphold this commitment and adapting our conduct to align with our goals.
We recognize that in working toward an equitable and diverse food system in the U.S., we must also be mindful that policies at all levels can cause unintended harm to others, especially the most marginalized populations around the world.