Statement of Intent on Race and Equity

NESAWG's commitment to a fair and just food system dates back to the organization’s beginnings. “A farm and food system for all” is a NESAWG core value. For several years we have endeavored to expand participation by diverse communities, with deliberate intention to work toward multi-racial participation. We want to step up those efforts. NESAWG’s Board and staff intend to make equity a day-to-day and year- to-year working priority.

Equity means fair and just treatment for all; farm and food equity is the notion that opportunities should be universal for access to healthful food, as well as opportunities to excel and prosper in endeavors to grow, market and serve it. Our goal is for our words and actions to lead to change:

  • The leaders and participants in NESAWG are more racially and economically diverse. Multi-racial participation greatly improves in all sectors. We prioritize scholarships to low-income people and people of color at the annual conference.
  • The annual conference is a place where participants can do the sometimes uncomfortable, yet rewarding work necessary to more fully understand and address the multiple forces that contribute to persistent food system inequity. By explicitly dedicating time, and sharing experiences and expertise via NESAWG convenings, we demonstrate a commitment to making food system equity a core value that informs our collective efforts. This includes focusing on race and equity in our keynote speakers and plenaries, programming priority to organizations run by and for people of color, and hosting a people of color caucus. 
  • NESAWG network participants help each other (as individuals and as organizations) better understand how the absence of equity plays out in the food system today, and how we can recognize it, challenge it, and change it, and move toward a fair food system for all.

This is a long-term, farm/food system transformation commitment. We see this as a slow, steady deliberate process, in which we are both challenged and inspired, and we look forward to engaging in it with you.