Statement of Racial Justice Principles
In the United States, the mainstream culture’s history of slavery and white supremacy and its 400-year history of invasion and subjugation of Indigenous peoples are two factors that influence a wide range of experiences that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face daily and that limit their full participation in all aspects of society. Despite having a small percentage of BIPOC, Maine is not exempt from this history and current practice. Furthermore, this history of division and oppression has directly caused our society where far too many people of all ethnic groups choose between food, medicine and other basic necessities.
And as a Maine-based community organization, Food AND Medicine (FAM) is committed to reviewing its role in perpetuating the legacy of these two factors in our state and initiating new practices aimed at correcting these wrongs. FAM is committed to making our organization welcoming, affirming and inclusive. We recognize that racial justice includes not only listening to but also elevating the voices, experiences and opinions of BIPOC. We need to intentionally step away from the practices that often keep white males in positions of power, decision-making and very often wealth. FAM aims to develop the skills and practices that will allow the organization to meet these goals.
FAM’s mission is to organize, educate, and empower workers and our communities in the fight for economic and social justice. This work cannot be done effectively and successfully without acknowledging and working to overcome and correct the injustices suffered by the BIPOC working class. FAM believes that by forming active partnerships with unions, farmers, community groups, Indigenous groups, small businesses, and faith-based organizations, we will create solutions and positive change. This must include organizations that represent BIPOC.
Therefore, as an organization, we will review our programs and practices and identify areas where we can be sure that we contribute to racial justice for all Mainers. As a first step, we plan to examine what more FAM’s programs can do to align with and promote racial justice.
We will look to examine our staff hiring practices, our leadership and member recruitment strategies, as well as how FAM’s programs can benefit the broadest cross section of residents. FAM will also look to build new alliances and partnerships that represent marginalized communities as well as expand current alliances and partnerships to amplify the work and voice of others who are working for racial justice in our community. We prioritize developing a solidarity relationship with the Wabanaki and supporting their right to decide what is best for their communities.
This work is supported by FAM’s board, which is committed to exercising leadership on this issue.