Feeding Texas stands in solidarity with the Black community in calling for racial justice and mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many others before them. We commit to learn from, and act with communities of color and other marginalized people to dismantle the systemic and structural racism that infects our society, institutions, attitudes, and behaviors.
As an anti-hunger organization, we bear daily witness to the casualties of a system that provides unequal access to nutritious food, adequate health care, good homes, quality education, living-wage jobs, and political influence. For generations, Black communities have faced barriers that have allowed their white counterparts more opportunities for achievement in employment, wealth, education, and health. The current pandemic has magnified the severity of these racial disparities as black communities are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 at substantially higher rates than their white counterparts.
If we are to eradicate hunger, we know that we need to topple racism. As an organization, we are also learning that it’s not enough to “not be racist.” It’s not enough to be anti-hunger. We know that if we aren’t actively anti-racist we are complicit in perpetuating the systemic racism that leaves Black families more than twice as likely to face hunger. We know that a hunger-free Texas is impossible without establishing a racially just Texas.
We also recognize that it is one thing to denounce racism and another thing to put action behind those words. We know that we will need to change, let go of certain things that make us feel safe, and make sacrifices. As Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition asked during a protest last Sunday, “What are you willing to relinquish to tip the scales of justice and opportunity?”
Feeding Texas does not have the answer to this question today, nor to many others that are critical to becoming an anti-racist organization. We are just beginning to make racial equity a cornerstone of our work. In acknowledging this, we make—and promise to hold ourselves accountable to—the following commitments:
- We will confront persistent racial biases in public policies and programs and support state and federal legislation that advances equity and justice for communities of color. We will listen to and include the voices of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Their experience of racism, injustice, hunger, and poverty must guide our priorities, policies, and programs.
- We will actively foster partnerships with organizations that advance justice and racial equity.
- We will turn to thought leaders in racial justice to inform all areas of our work. We will openly share resources and lessons learned with our partners and community members.
- We will support and encourage our employees to dedicate staff time to listening to and learning from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leaders and will incorporate anti-racist trainings and materials into our annual budget.
- We will create internal, evidence-based policies to foster an actively anti-racist organization and culture. We will regularly assess our progress and be open and transparent with our successes and shortcomings.
We acknowledge that our public response is overdue, as we worked actively to navigate a sustainable anti-racism action plan. We are fully committed to doing this work and recognize the importance of being authentic in our words and actions.