It is Justice
The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. It is justice – Bryan Stevenson
The opposite of outrage is justice
The opposite of racism is justice
The opposite of murder is justice
The opposite of hunger is justice
The opposite of disease is justice
The Black Lives Matter movement is a demand for justice like no other in our times. Sons and daughters all across our country are standing arm-in-arm with community members demanding justice for Black Americans. Their voices are heard because we will not be silent and condone injustice, nor ignore the consequences of institutional racism.
Southside Community Land Trust’s Board and Staff honor the memory of George Floyd and so many others and grieve with their families and those who loved them. We are outraged and saddened, and join the fight to end violence against the countless victims of color whose voices were senselessly silenced by police brutality and the sanctions of racial injustice.
SCLT recognizes that racial injustice is the most significant obstacle to accomplishing our mission. The fundamental reason people of color don’t have access to fresh, healthy and affordable food is because food systems in the United States, along with all other economic and social systems, are structured to deny equal access to Black, Indigenous and all people of color.
If race justice were achieved:
- All people of color would benefit from lower rates of diet-related chronic disease and live in communities where healthy food is plentiful.
- All people of color would have access to traditional foods and preparation methods that help preserve their cultures.
- All people of color would have the means to grow healthy food and succeed as farmers, and to empower their communities by keeping both food and money in their local economies.
- All people of color would benefit from improved quality of life associated with preparing and enjoying healthy food.
- All people of color would live in neighborhoods free of toxic pollution and other environmental damage.
In order to accomplish this, SCLT has embarked on a program of work to combat racial injustice both internally and in our communities during the past two years. This work is important because:
- Most of the people with whom we work and employ are Black and Brown people who face racial injustice every day.
- Economic and social systems in the United States were built to empower White people. These systems disregard the lives and experiences of people of color.
- The work we do can create meaningful connections between people of all backgrounds and, if done with this in mind, can advance racial justice.
While SCLT implements practical, on-the-ground programs, their impact is limited if we are not also striving to eliminate the racist constructs that limit their success. This includes continuing efforts to recruit and hire a critical mass of people of color for the staff and board and especially for positions of leadership at the organization. Our commitment at SCLT is straightforward: to oppose injustice, to intentionally promote programs that are anti-racist and anti-poverty and to raise our voices in solidarity with Black and Brown families victimized by police violence.
Please check back here for updates about SCLT’s ongoing race equity work. We will provide information about our internal race equity strategies as well as initiatives developed in partnership with the growers, youth and communities with whom we work.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to join us by buying from local farmers, food entrepreneurs and allies of our work. Please follow the links below to local businesses run by people are color who would welcome your support. Clearly, this is merely a start to dismantling racism and white supremacy: We will share other resources and stories of Black and Brown people working in and challenging the injustices of poverty, food insecurity and lack of representation in the RI food and agriculture sectors going forward.
Silence is violence. In justice we stand. Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough. The time to end racism and police violence is long overdue.
– Southside Community Land Trust
Board of Directors & Staff
June 16, 2020