Community Food Advocates stands in solidarity with our community—staff, cafeteria workers, parents, students, teachers, school administrators, pediatricians, allies, and supporters. We stand with the national protests calling for justice for George, Breonna, Ahmaud, Tony and for all Black lives.
Black Lives Matter.
It is heartbreaking that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade are only the most recent names in the long list of Black Americans who have been failed by a historically unjust and deeply discriminatory system. Despairingly, we can, with fair accuracy, predict a failure to bring the police officers involved to justice and a lack of systemwide reform.
This is not by accident. It is by design.
Black people have experienced generations of violence and economic exclusion that continue to impact the present and, if not fully addressed, will go on indefinitely. A living legacy born out of the use of slave labor as the economic engine powering the country for centuries continues today in the forms of economic exclusion and underpaid labor.
Governmental public efforts have explicitly excluded Black Americans. These include: the devaluing of public education and the structural exclusion from government programs like the GI Bill that, after World War II, enabled generations of White Americans to gain access to wealth and economic mobility through access to higher education, home and land ownership; depression-era and post-war Federal Housing Administration’s official enforcement of housing segregation; and the exclusion of Black Americans from other public income and food support programs that benefited their White counterparts.
When movements to secure school desegregation and access to public benefits won significant successes, we quickly saw efforts to starve out public schools and public benefits programs.
The Intersection of COVID-19.
It is not a coincidence that communities of color are the most severely affected by COVID-19. Government hostility, indifference and generations of economic exclusion, neglect, and violence have directly resulted in gaping income, health and educational disparities. Alarmingly, yet not surprisingly, Black America’s COVID-19 death rate is 2.4 times as high as the rate of White Americans.
A just and proactive government can harness the will, creativity, and innovative force to address these rampant inequities.
With the will and intention, our government can proactively dismantle historically oppressive structures that exclude Black communities. The government must work diligently to help solve the current health crisis, food crisis and legal justice crisis and in so doing, uplift all marginalized Americans.
Food justice cannot be achieved without racial justice.
As an organization that focuses on poverty, food access and hunger in New York City, Community Food Advocates is keenly aware of the intricate connection between racial equity and food justice. We are resolved in our commitment for an equitable food system, and will continue to stand alongside our partners and fight to hold our government at all levels to the highest standards of equity and justice.
The CFA Team