The protests across our country grew out of the anger and despair at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But this tragedy was not an isolated event. Rather, these calls for justice are also a response to the systemic racism that persists in our society, demonstrated by the continuing violence perpetrated against Black people. They also challenge historic economic injustice, exposed most recently by the way that communities of color and the poor have been disproportionately exposed to and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We stand firmly with people calling for positive change in our society. We join with other movements and organizations working to overcome the legacy of racism and inequality in our nation and its institutions. And we challenge ourselves as co-operators to live up to the values that guide us, including democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. We recognize that this is no easy task and involves listening, challenging our own privileges and prejudices, and constantly working to address our shortcomings as we work together to transform ourselves, our co-operatives, and our communities.
As we work to build a more just and inclusive food system and economy, we recommit ourselves to challenging the systemic racism that has caused so much suffering, anguish, and injustice. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives.
The Board of Directors & Staff of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association
Neighboring Food Co-ops’ Action & Further Resources for Learning
The mission of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is to support growth, innovation, and shared success among our Member Co-ops through collaboration, education, and partnerships. We believe that we are better when we are welcoming, when we lift one another up, and when we work together to make life better for everyone in our co-ops and communities. Building on our ongoing Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) work and association-wide participation in the Abolitionists Challenge with LaDonna Redmond Sanders, the NFCA in began convening monthly calls in November of 2020, bringing together leaders from our Neighboring Food Co-ops across New England and New York State to support them in moving from awareness to action in addressing racism and economic inequality and creating racial equity in our co-ops and communities. These calls are supplemented by a listserv designed to facilitate more regular communication, collaboration, and the sharing of resources and strategies. As we continue to work together to grow awareness and evolve our own abilities to affect change, we are committed to continuous learning and to implementing changes in policies, procedures, programs, and member and community engagement toward creating truly equitable, inclusive, and just co-operative businesses.
We encourage you to learn more about Black land loss and racism in the food system, and how you can support justice, Civil Rights and community economic empowerment by visiting and donating to our partners at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives / Land Assistance Fund. The NFCA has also been working with the Federation to develop collaborative sourcing projects among our co-ops.
For a comprehensive list of resources for education, reflection, and action, we also recommend Civil Eats Food and Land Justice Resources.
Food co-ops across our region have been speaking up for Black Lives. Below are some links:
- Brattleboro Food Co-op
- City Market/Onion River Co-op
- Common Share Food Co-op
- Co-op Food Stores
- Dorchester Food Co-op
- Electric City Food Coop
- Fiddleheads Food Co-op
- Flatbush Food Co-op
- Green Star Food Co-op
- Franklin Community Co-op
- Hunger Mountain Co-op
- Kingston Food Co-op
- Littleton Food Co-op
- Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op
- Monadnock Food Co-op
- Portland Food Co-op
- River Valley Co-op
- Urban Greens Co-op Market
- Wild Oats Co-op
(Please let us know if your food co-op has made a statement that you would like for us to link to.)