Black Lives Matter: An Open Letter to the Slow Food Community
Dear Slow Food leaders and community,
As protesters take to the streets across the country demanding justice, we are reminded, once again, that oppression is systemic. Oppression is deeply rooted in all American systems, including the food system. We cannot ever remain neutral. We stand behind our Black community members — the farmers, chefs, activists, leaders, educators, food chain and restaurant workers, youth and fellow citizens — that have felt the pain of this fight every day of their lives. We stand in solidarity with front-line justice organizations by continuing the fight for a just food system.
We are committed to making Slow Food USA an anti-racist organization that authentically pursues good, clean and fair food for all. Let’s not fall into a trap of saying we don’t know how to respond. A diverse Slow Food coalition created an Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto in 2018, and it’s time for every chapter leader and member to commit to putting those words to work in local communities and in the nation’s food system. In doing so, we will take a united approach in addressing the intersection of food and race with new earnestness. Use the EIJ Manifesto as a practical guide and starting point. We will succeed and we will fail, but we cannot stop learning and trying, and we certainly cannot hesitate.
Rachel Cargle offers a helpful recipe we’ll use to hold ourselves accountable to anti-racism: “Knowledge plus empathy plus action. If you take any one away, you’re performing.” It starts simply with a conversation: How can you unpack and enact the EIJ manifesto in your local chapter and in your community work?
Let’s get to work and hold each other accountable.
- Commit to knowledge. Educate yourself. You can pick one of these books. We will be reading “How to be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X Kendi this summer as a staff– we would love for you to join us. We will be organizing zoom discussion groups.
- Commit to empathy. Follow the lead of food justice organizations like these. Show up for them. Build those relationships.
- Commit to action. Comb through the EIJ Manifesto, and create 6 concrete action steps for your Slow Food chapter or community. Share these with us here by the end of the summer (Aug 31).
We at the Slow Food USA national office also commit to knowledge, empathy and action. We are creating a national strategy and roadmap to take concrete steps. And, you can look to us to provide support, collect and share resources, collect and share stories from our network, put together skill-shares, coordinate collaboration across chapters and groups, listen to you, and work with you to co-create this shared action plan.
This is still the opening act for us. Let’s leverage our anger and grief over the senseless murder of Black Americans like George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery into action. We are calling for equity and justice not just on our plates, but also on our boards, in our strategies, and through our partnerships and actions.
To the pursuit of joy + justice!
Anna, Giselle, and Felix
Thanks for this!! Great job team SFUSA!!
Slow Food Indy is in support and committed to the Manifesto.
Thank you for doing this!!! I am a member of SlowFood Dallas
Exited to be part of an amazing inaugural team that will be submitting an application to start a Slow Food chapter here in Las Vegas/Henderson, NV, and so very proud of Slow Food USA’s message of equality. We stand with you!
Xavier University’s First Year Seminar class on Slow Food will include the Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Manifesto in our course this upcoming Fall semester, 2020. Thank you for this call to action!
Slow Food is on the right side of history and is taking us all with it! SFUSABoD
EIJ Right now & for always ✌️ Slow Food USA School Garden Network commits to racial justice from soil to soul ❤️🌱❤️
Thank you. Food justice is racial justice. Neha Shah with Slow Food Huron Valley, Michigan. I teach in the Ann Arbor Pubic Schools, work to support school gardens locally, statewide, and nationally with Slow Gardens. 🐌 🌱✊🏽🖤
Thank you for this, and I’m fully committed to standing up and fighting for racial justice.
Slow Food Austin commits to the EIJ Manifesto
Thanks Slow Good USA and the EIJ committee for your work, I support the Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto!
Slow Food DFW is committed to Equity, Inclusion and Justice through knowledge, empathy and action. Thankful that we can stand together with Slow Food USA and chapter leaders.
Slow Food East End and the Chef/Cook’s Alliance fully supports this!
Thank You! Slow Food DFW is committed to the Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto. Thankful that we can stand together with Slow Food USA and chapter leaders.
Yes to equity, inclusion and justice across our food systems and across the Slow Food organization. Slow Food Russian River here in Northern California will continue our work in implementing the EIJ manifesto locally. Thank you EIJ working group and Slow Food USA for leading the way! Black Lives Matter!
Ready to put words to work in our community! Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast supports the EIJ manifesto and will gather and be a voice and take action. Thank you SF USA!
As a African American man living in today’s world I am proud of the leadership Slow Food shows. I am proud to be apart of an organization that allows me to use my black voice in the way I see fit. Thank you
Slow food has always been about justice, equality, good food for all.
Now is the time for a change in the culture of America. Thank you for speaking up and taking a lead.
Slow Food Metro North stands in solidarity with our Slow Food Family from around the globe who support EIJ and Good, Clean, Fair LIVES for all.
Slow Food Lake Tahoe is with you! We support and commit to the EIJ Manifesto. Black Lives Matter!
Slow Food San Francisco supports EIJ and we encourage all leaders to join in! Good, clean and fair. Black lives matter🖤
Never been more proud to be a member of Slow Food than now! Thank you for this, slow Food Vermont is committed to the important work of EIJ!
Slow Food Kentucky stands in solidarity with the spirit of this message from our national office leadership team to leaders and local chapters about seizing the moment ….seizing the time…. at this historical confluence of the global virus pandemic and the national pandemic of police brutality and exposed structural racism to: 1) reaffirm our commitment to equity, inclusion and justice, 2)..to affirm our solidarity with the Black Lives matter movementb that seeks Justice and these killing fields, 3) to acknowledge our determination to use knowledge, empathy and action to implement the Slow Food EIJ Manifesto and 4) to recommit ourselves to do the work to develop and envision a food system that’s good clean and fair for ALL.
I have been part of the slow food cultural phenomena for all of my life and recognize that Slow Food USA as an organization has the potential and the responsibility to provide the kind of leadership that can not only put our snail on a skateboard but can also collaborate with other organizations within our food movement to create the kind of food sovereignty experiences where communities can exercise self-determination in all aspects of the food and agriculture system.
By connecting joy and justice with knowledge empathy and action we can not only have a dream about another world is possible but we can manifest another world is possible in our lifetime.
By signing on to this letter I fully understand and accept the responsibilities of embracing, holding dear to my heart and implementing the actions that are do clearly stated.
We are all one people on this one planet, no matter the color of our skin. We breathe the same air, we eat the same food, we love. Slow Food Hawaii.
Support black owned businesses in your local community and shop there frequently. Speak out whenever you see any form of hate speech, racism, sexism, age discrimination, able-ism, homophobia.
Be kind to strangers
Volunteer. Practice civic engagement
Most of all……keep hope alive!!!
Slow Food Denver is committed to knowledge, empathy and action. We support the EIJ Manifesto. Thank you for the leadership.
Now this is JOY + JUSTICE! Slow Food New York State stands in solidarity with our slow Food Family here and around the globe! Thank You for taking a stance a lead on the inequalities, and standing for what is Just! #blacklivesmatter
Slow Food RVA stands in solidarity with Slow Food USA to bring Equity, Inclusion, and Joy to our community during this watershed moment in history.
Yes – As Neha said, food justice is racial justice! I also work with Slow Food Huron Valley and am an organic farmer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At my farm we work to promote justice in the food system and to create and support biodiversity in all its dimensions.
Absolutely! SLOW FOOD must take a stand on this
SLOW FOOD BOSTON
There can be no true joy without justice. Slow Food California stands with SFUSA’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization, and we commit ourselves to knowledge, empathy, and action.
Thank you Slow Food USA for your leadership and action. We are all in this together. Slow Food Denver stands with you and our entire Slow Food community.
Thank you Slow Food USA for taking this stand and embracing our shared responsibility.
Slow Food Georgetown — we commit to standing with you.
So glad to see you’re doing this! Slow Food Coastal Georgia. <3
Thank you for taking the lead and driving the change. Slow Food Prescott commits to solidarity.
Greetings from Slow Food Twin Cities! Have been honored to be here as the grief, joy, beauty, pain emerge into our city’s consciousness, to be present as those of us who are white-bodied and have the daily privilege of being shielded from racial injustice confront the immense urgency of anti-racist work. Food justice is racial justice. I feel more committed than ever to fight for a food system that nourishes the community, and to support this work by becoming a better accomplice every day. Much love and solidarity to all. Black Lives Matter.
Slow Food’s message has always had power, but now even more so. We must leverage the good in our community into goodness in society as a whole, we need to fight for a clean political and judicial system, and we must demand fairness and respect for the oppressed in our family here and across the globe.
We should rightfully be proud of everything Slow Food has stood for in the past, but this moment seems different, and historical. It’s time for Slow Food to up its game. It’s time to get uncomfortable folks.
Slow Food North Louisiana is committed to executing the goals of the EIJ Manifesto. Food injustice is a major problem in North Louisiana, as evidenced by the disproportionate level of residents of color with chronic disease. We are already partnering with other food, community and health organizations here to tackle this problem, but we will be (actually have already begun) ramping up our efforts to better ensure good, clean and fair food for ALL in our region.
We at Slow Food East Bay believe that food justice and racial justice are intertwined. We cannot forget that food is power and that we have the power to use food for good, so let’s pledge support and let’s also do! Do better, do differently, do the real work to make our movement truly inclusive. Thank you to the tremendous efforts of the EIJ working group and to SFUSA for embracing this work!
Slow Food Utah is committed to building Equity, Inclusion and Justice into our every act. Thank you for your leadership! Black Lives Matter.
Slow Food Glades to Coast absolutely supports the EIJ Manifesto. Food justice is one of the most important issues that we incorporate in our work.
Black Lives Matter. Racial injustice is not to be tolerated. Thank you Slow Food for taking a stand.
Slow Food MN is committed to fostering equitable access to good, clean, fair food. Black Lives Matter, and we stand with Slow Food USA in our commitment to the EIJ Manifesto and using it as the foundation for our work. Peace to George Floyd and all who love him.
The SFUSA Policy Committee advocates for public policy that aligns with our belief in a food chain that is good, clean, and fair for all, with equity, inclusion, and justice at every link, and opposes policies that do not. To more effectively address the systemic racism that plagues our food chain, the Policy Committee commits to intensify our focus on and actions supporting BIPOC food sector communities suffering food chain inequity, exclusion, and injustice by strengthening our connection with those communities and their supporting organizations and by providing platforms for their voices to be heard in our network and manifested in our policy activism.
Thank you Slow Food USA for taking a stance for justice – Slow Food Western Slope (Colorado) supports the Manifesto!
Our Boulder County Colorado chapter will use this as inspo to create a summer reading list and encourage our members to follow the food justice organizations. We might plan an event centered around one of the books. We find this very valuable to be actionable and open up the conversation for meaningful change in our community.
Thank you, SF USA, for your leadership with the EIJ Manifesto. Slow Food of Middle Tennessee is committed to working to broaden our understanding and deepen our commitment to equity, inclusion and justice in our food communities.
Slow Food St. Louis stands with SFUSA’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization. We support 100 percent the EIJ Manifesto.
Slow Food DC fully supports this manifesto. We value the EIJ working group’s ongoing efforts to educate, advocate, and inspire us all as this movement continues.
Slow Food Oregon is honored to be a part of the EIJ movement. We are committed to being a force for food justice and food security in our urban and agricultural communities, supporting our farmers to embrace biodiversity and sustainability, while encouraging food equity for our communities of color and indigenous peoples.
Slow Food Florida is in full support. Thanks for doing this!
Slow Food Phoenix is committed and fully supports this manifesto. Great job!
Slow Food Prescott Arizona is in full support. Thanks for doing this work.
On behalf of Slow Food Wallowas (eastern Oregon), I’m sharing our commitment and full support of this initiative. Thank you!
As ever and now, we must stay the course for justice for all especially shaping our Foodway where we vote consistently with our dollars to support the values of inclusion and equality. As a member of Slow Food International’s Cooks Alliance and Slow Food USA, I support Black Lives Matter, police reform and rethinking the mechanisms for our community safety and protection systems.
Now as ever, we are obliged to stand in support of Black Lives Matter and facilitate the concepts of justice for all where we vote continuously with our actions, energy & dollars to foster our Foodway & community values of equality and inclusion. Slow Cook’s Alliance USA and regional Northwest members are engaged.
Committed to Joy + Justice ❤️
Thank you Slow Food USA ❤️
Cooks Alliance is proud to support BLM with Slow Food USA.
Together we will change the World.
Slow Food California commits to this statement as a chapter, as do I as its current president.
Amber Buchanan here, I support both BLM and the Slow Food Manifesto.
Joyful to be part of a committed organization of people determined to seek justice for all.
Thank you slow food USA for your strong stance on equality and inclusion. SF North Shore stands with you.
Slow Food O’ahu stands with Slow Food USA in our commitment to a pono food system for all…
I’m proud to be a part of this movement, there are so many things we can do when we work together.
Slow Food DFW
We at Slow Food Seattle stand in solidarity with Slow Food USA and reaffirm our support for the EIJ Manifesto. We are committed to knowledge, empathy and action. Thank you SFUSA for your leadership. #Joy+Justice
Slow Food Whidbey Island is committed to food equity and is constantly researching ways to further this cause in our community.
Land & Sea chapter Friday Harbor, San Juan Island recognizes many centuries of the profound, unwise, and unjust imbalance of power, and silencing of voices, in our local regions, & across the globe, and we are grateful to join in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Slow Food USA to commit to Joy & Justice and the EIJ Manifesto.
Committed to knowledge, empathy & ACTION! Excited to get to work with Slow Food Seattle with joy for justice.
To the pursuit of joy and justice, healing and happiness…
Alexander Craig from Slow Food NYC here, and I support both Black Lives Matter and the Slow Food EIJ Manifesto.
Stand totally committed to the cause of creating a just and safe world for all, particularly for those who have been oppressed and sidelined for a long time.
Glad to be a part of an organization that is in the forefront of creating change.
The Slow Food Baltimore Chapter stands in solidarity with our Black and Brown brothers and sisters!