Don't miss a beat while we share updates and information on how we claim our space to reclaim and uplift Black and brown voices.
LIFE, LIBERTY AND FOOD JUSTICE FOR ALL
August 12, 2020
Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for healthy living. That could mean both having insufficient supplies, but also a lack of the variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, that are needed to provide the right nutritional balance.
Predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods have fewer full-service supermarkets than predominantly white and non-Latinx neighborhoods. Communities that lack affordable and nutritious food are commonly known as “food deserts.” So-called food deserts, or areas without such suppliers as grocery stores, are common in low-income areas. In these zones, people’s nutritional options are often limited to cheaper, high-calorie and less nutritious food.
Food Disparity During A Pandemic
Black, Latinx, and Native Americans are experiencing disproportionate burdens of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). According to projections from Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger-relief nonprofit organization roughly 17 million more people will become food insecure in 2020, bringing the total to 54 million, including 18 million children. In his latest episode of his podcast entitled “New York’s Hunger Problem”, Brian Lehrer states that food insecurity is at the point of moving from a crisis to catastrophe.”
Resources For Taking Action
Visit These Websites
- Feed Black Futures
“We feed Black mamas & caregivers impacted by incarceration in the Los Angeles area.”
- A Growing Culture
“We are a Global Movement for a Just Food System”
- Civil Eats
“Civil Eats is a trusted voice that works to tell meaningful, nuanced, and often overlooked food politics stories in an increasingly challenging media landscape.”
- National Black Food & Justice Alliance
“National Black Food and Justice Alliance (NBFJA) is a coalition of Black-led organizations working towards cultivating and advancing Black leadership, building Black self-determination, Black institution building and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice. We focus our work on black food sovereignty, self-determining food economies, and land. We approach food sovereignty, land and self-determining food economies through the lens of healing, organizing & resistance against anti-Blackness.
- Black Yield Institute
“We endeavor to define and govern all aspects of our food systems, including black food politics, economics, agriculture, culinary practices, community, wellness and knowledge creation.”
Support Your Local Programs
- Black Church Food Security - Faith, Food, and Freedom Summer Campaign The Faith, Food & Freedom Summer helps African American churches to promote gardening, patronize Black farmers, and practice emergency preparedness for families. Support the campaign through donations, by attending their Sunday conversations, and by spreading awareness! Insta: @blackchurchfsn
- Real Food Challenge - Real Food Campus Commitment Encourage your college/ university campus to sign the commitment. Real Food Challenge aims to shift $1 billion (20%) of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and unhealthy food and towards local & community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food sources. That can create change in the food chain for all: from farmers, to workers to eaters to the planet.
- Center for Good Food Purchasing - Good Food Purchasing Program The Good Food Purchasing Program helps public institutions shift to a transparent and equitable food system built on local economies, health, valued workforce, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. Encourage your local institutions to support and learn more about active campaigns on their website.
- Download HEAL Platform for Real Food HEAL Food Alliance’s platform for real food offers a pathway for land reparations and a just food system, crafted by 50 organizations representing rural and urban farmers, fisherfolk, farm and food chain workers, rural and urban communities, scientists, public health advocates, environmentalists, and indigenous groups,. The online platform offers calls to action, videos, and solutions.
- Food Justice “Gottlieb and Joshi recount the history of food injustices and describe current efforts to change the system, including community gardens and farmer training, youth empowerment, and farm-to-school programs across the country. " Food Justice" addresses the increasing disconnect between food and culture that has resulted from our highly industrialized food system.”
- Black Food Geographies:“In this book, Ashanté M. Reese makes clear the structural forces that determine food access in urban areas, highlighting Black residents’ navigation of and resistance to unequal food distribution systems. Linking these local food issues to the national problem of systemic racism. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Reese not only documents racism and residential segregation in the nation’s capital but also tracks the ways transnational food corporations have shaped food availability”
- Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability (Food, Health, and the Environment)
“This book documents how racial and social inequalities are built into our food system, and how communities are creating environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.”
Watch & Listen
- A Growing Culture: “In honor of a global response, AGC is announcing The Hunger for Justice Series, a weekly live broadcast about how we feed everyone in a Post-Covid World.Each week, we will be hosting an hour long, candid conversation with activists at the frontlines of the global food movement.”
- Pang: “A Series of contemporary audio dramas based on the oral histories of families around the country who are hungering for change.”
- Realistic Foods Podcast with Rowena Mahloch: “I believe that equitable access to good, healthy food is a basic human right. So I created this website to share my work and promote an equitable food system.”
People experiencing food insecurity and living in food deserts often primarily have access to low-cost, energy-dense processed foods. Barriers to accessing high-quality, nutritious food, in turn, are major factors in people’s body-mass index and their overall health and life expectancy. By educating ourselves and supporting programs that hold institutions and food industries accountable, we can save Black lives by bridging the gaps between social location and accessibility to nutritious food.
Continuously Fighting for Freedom,
Claim Our Space Now
THE INEQUITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS ON PEOPLE OF COLOR
August 5, 2020
In the fight against climate change and environmental deterioration it is often forgotten that many are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards due to the institutional rules, regulations, policies or government and/or corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities for locally undesirable land uses and lax enforcement of zoning and environmental laws, resulting in communities being disproportionately exposed to toxic and hazardous waste based upon race. This is called environmental racism.
Environmental Racism in the USA
A few examples of environmental racism in the United States have been seen in Los Angeles, CA where there is the largest urban oil field, the ever present water crisis in Flint, MI, Louisiana’s “cancer alley”, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s battle with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Effects on Black Communities
Recent studies found that those who live in predominantly Black communities suffered greater risk of premature death from particle pollution than those in predominantly white communities. Black children are both twice as likely to develop asthma and 10 times more likely to have fatal complications from it than white children.
What You Can Do
Did you know? Under federal regulatory law, a Democratic president and Congress could eradicate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rollback with simple majority votes on Capitol Hill and the president’s signature. Exercise your civic duty and use your voice to protect our earth and marginalized communities!
- Read Labels
Check out We Act’s “Beauty Inside Out'' Campaign for a list of helpful apps to help you avoid beauty products containing the dirty dozen toxic and harmful ingredients. Many of these products are specifically marketed to women of color and non-white folx. Detox Me, Think Dirty, and EWG Healthy Living are a few apps on the list!
- Buy Black & Sustainable
Reinvest funds into the Black community while also obtaining products that won’t be harmful for your body and the environment. Win, win! Check out this list of 9 Black owned eco-friendly & sustainable businesses to support right now.
- Get Educated
Sign up for the Movement Building 101 training series with Sunrise Movement. “Learn about the crises gripping our society and how to confront them, build community with others around you who are ready to make lasting social change, and practice the hard skills you need to win a Green New Deal and an equitable and just future for all people.”
Sunrise Movement is using person to person conversations to help garner support for politicians that will support a Green New Deal. Help support them by volunteering for phone banking here!
Racist government policy as it pertains to environmental racism can be traced back to the beginning of this century. The location of Black and Brown communities near sources of pollution are a direct result of these policies. We challenge you to take some of these action steps and continue to center BIPOC folx in your fight for environmental justice!
Fighting for Freedom,
Claim Our Space Now
Last Friday we lost two of our esteemed Freedom Fighters. Rev C.T. Vivian and John Lewis were both instrumental in the Civil Rights movement and continued to fight for the liberation and equality of Black Americans until their final days. A major contribution attributed to them both was getting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted in response to voter suppression in the 1960s. This significant piece of legislation outlawed discriminatory practices such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and other restrictions in Southern states. Many Black voters also risked physical harm, harassment, economic discrimination, and intimidation, leading to many not registering and furthering the idea that their voice didn’t matter in America.
In 2013 the Supreme court invalidated the essential practices of the VRA with a 5-4 vote that granted nine southern states the ability to amend election laws without receiving federal approval. According to the ACLU, “Without these protections, voters of color will continue to be impacted by discriminatory election practices intended to disenfranchise or diminish their voting power based on their race.” This was also the same year that President Obama awarded Rev. C.T. Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Honor.
Carrying the mantle through the VRAA
Just days ago, 47 senators introduced legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act with a bill named after John Lewis. The John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act would ensure that all states require clearance from the Justice Department or a Federal court in D.C before making voting procedure changes that would burden voters of color. The VRAA would fill in the gaps left behind by enacting new regulations and oversight procedures. The House has already voted to pass the VRAA – now it's the Senate's turn to protect our voting rights.
We not only want to honor John Lewis & Rev. C.T Vivian, but we want to see their work continued. We must continue the legacy of these two leaders by demanding that the Senate pass the John Lewis Voter’s Rights Advancement Act. We must reinstate protections against voter’s suppression laws which harm Black and Brown communities most. Learn more about the VRAA and sign this petition from the ACLU.
While we remember and honor these men for their never ending commitment to liberty and justice for Black people, we are challenged by the reality that many of the issues they fought against in the 1960s remain topics of contention today. Their urgent action that led to major change 55 years ago inspires us today. Following their lead through marches, demonstrations and active pursuit to get Black voters registered to vote will be instrumental to our upcoming election. We must lead the way in freeing the voices that the unjust systems of this country have tried to keep silent.
Fighting for Freedom,
Claim Our Space Now