We are pained and outraged by the police brutality that led to George Floyd’s murder, and to the deaths and abuse of too many other black Americans before him. Those abuses are just the most visual manifestations of the institutionalized racism that black and brown Americans face in this country every day. For the past two weeks, we have been listening and witnessing and asking ourselves how and what we can do to help dismantle racism. As white women business owners, we have been remembering and reflecting on situations and moments when we could have spoken up and done better and didn’t. Not because we didn’t care but because we didn’t fully understand how damaging our silence and inaction could be. We were too comfortable in our own privilege. This moment demands that we more deeply understand our own white privilege and how it influences our attitudes and decisions. This moment invites us to be uncomfortable and to move forward without having all the answers. And it requires that we commit to sustaining anti-racism work for the long haul.
We are a company whose mission is to build a more just and sustainable food system that first and foremost values people. How do we do this work in a way that includes and benefits ALL people, especially those who have suffered the most injustice? Figuring this out will not happen overnight so we are going to continue to take time to deepen our conversations, to listen intently (especially to black voices) and to keep our hearts and minds open.
As a starting place, Firsthand Foods is committing to the following:
- Building and nurturing a diverse team and an inclusive and equitable work culture.
- Telling the story of the history of exploitation in our food system.
- Supporting the black farmers in our network from a lens of equity rather than equality.
- Connecting all of you to the people of color in our supply chain and their individual stories and voices.