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INFAS Statement on Equity in the Food System

by abwhite last modified Oct 13, 2015 01:12 PM
During a Network annual gathering we decided to engage in a design process to deliberately interrogate the Network’s values and its priorities for action and engagement in order to build the foundation necessary for collective impact on the food system. Our statement on ‘Equity in the Food System’ was drafted by the INFAS design team after more than a year of reflection and discussion to underpin the Network’s mission and objectives moving forward.


Expanded preamble (click here) underpinning the INFAS Statement on Equity in the Food System.

This preamble was developed to simultaneously acknowledge the multi-dimensionality of the food system and reinforce that INFAS values systemic analyses and transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and single discipline approaches to solving problems.

It further articulates that there are diverse sustainability challenges including:

(1) environmental (e.g., climate change, loss of biodiversity, ocean acidification);

(2) economic (e.g., low wages and limited food system access, especially for women, poor people, and people of color); and

(3) social (e.g., legacies of slavery, theft of resources, and leadership in the food system that has historically favored white affluent males) that lead us further away from food system sustainability, resilience and equity.

 

INFAS is a network of educators and researchers who are dedicated to food system sustainability and committed to supporting, learning from and partnering with activists in our communities. We recognize that our food system is profoundly inequitable and institutions of higher education hold power and privilege that can be used for good or harm. Equity in opportunity, food access and health outcomes is a non-negotiable foundational principle of a sustainable food system and a core value and commitment for us.


To help build equity in the food system, we are focusing on the barrier of structural racism. We recognize multiple forms of oppression; so we also will focus on gender and class oppression, and the intersections among race, class, and gender that shape barriers and opportunities to equity.

We make a commitment to collaborate with communities of practice and place through our research, education and convening capabilities to better understand, communicate and find solutions to how food system disparities affect the experiences of those most affected by systemic inequities. We will strive to work with and respect community members as leaders, co-creators of knowledge, co-formulators of questions and co-facilitators in building solutions as we endeavor to create a more just food system for all people.


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