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Joy + Justice

Real action, real goals, network-wide

Network-wide commitment to joy + justice

In solidarity, the entire Slow Food USA community is commiting to real action toward dismantling oppressive systems and building an organization dedicated to joy + justice. We understand that these commitments and outlined action steps are simply next steps in a lifelong journey. But, we will not fall into the trap of indecisiveness and non-action. With joyous spirit, we commit to real action, real justice– in our own organizations and in our work for a good, clean, and fair food system for all.

If you have not yet, please take the following three initial steps; we would like to have a full network commitment by November 24, 2020:

1. commit to joy + Justice

Every Slow Food USA chapter and group commits to taking real action towards greater joy + justice in their work and in their own organizations. We show a public commitment to this by commenting with our names and our chapter/group name to this Open Letter: Black Lives Matter from June 2020.

2. Agree to the Code of Conduct

Every person in a leadership position in Slow Food USA agrees to this Code of Conduct, in order to uphold a safe space for all in Slow Food. Please read the following Code of Conduct and then fill out the form that follows to affirm your agreement to this code:

SLOW FOOD CODE OF CONDUCT

The purpose of this document is to outline principles and actions that will ensure a safe space at all levels of the Slow Food network for all leaders and participants.

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As a member/leader/staff/participant of Slow Food, I agree to:

1. Build and maintain healthy relationship

2. Be kind before any other reflexive reaction

3. Focus on our common goal—the Slow Food mission. Treat this as a professional workspace where we are all here for common purposes.

4. Prioritize healthy relationship building as a key part of creating a safe community whenever two or more people interact.  A safe community is defined as a community that is dedicated to:

  • Building consent and collaboration (Consent means “no significant objection” vs Consensus which means “complete agreement”)
  • Maintaining respect for all parties
  • Actively ensuring that all feel safe to participate
  • Being productive and solution-driven towards our shared mission and values
  • Valuing the diversity of cultures, knowledge, skills and opinions
  • Focusing constructive and productive criticism on ideas, systems, projects– and not focusing criticisms on people
  • Practicing transparency in our decisions and work 

5. Dismantle systems of oppression, especially white supremacy and patriarchy, always and in every interaction we have- -so that no bias against gender/gender identity, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or any other oppressive bias exists or persists in our communities.

6. Address conflict in a respectful and inclusive manner by

  • Maintaining absolute zero-tolerance for bullying; even if the person who is the aggressor could be representing a valid point 
  • Expecting conflict. Change rarely occurs without it.
  • Recognizing conflict is an opportunity. Remind ourselves that while conflict is stressful, it is always an opportunity for growth.
  • Using respectful language to all parties
  • Avoiding assumptions and instead prioritize asking questions. Maintain a culture of inquiry and curiosity.
  • Realizing that both impact and intent are valid. Just because you did not intend to be hurtful, does not mean that the impact is invalid.
  • Building toward consent always
  • Taking advantage of teachable moments. When appropriate and possible (likely once time has passed since the conflict), communicate the elements of conflict and conflict resolution to the larger network in a way that respects privacy and honors the network learning.

Conflicts and interactions that do not abide by these values and principles will be handled by local leadership/members. If no consensus/resolution is reached, the issues will be escalated to the regional governors and then to Slow Food national office if needed.

3. Post your 6 next action steps

In early June, we asked the entire Slow Food USA network to define six action points to renew our commitment to becoming an antiracist organization. As the national office, we also have work to do to dismantle systems of oppression. We revisited the Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Manifesto and have outlined 11 initial action steps here. We are trying to make these action steps SMART— Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely — so that we have a defined work plan for our staff. We recognize that this is an ongoing journey; and we will continue to examine and to evolve our policies and work to dismantle all forms of oppression. 

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.”

We know this work is the work of a entire joyous lifetime. But we will not be caught flat-footed and not taking action. Please post your chapter/group’s next 6 action steps here– to share and to inspire: