Welcome!

Thank you for joining the 2017 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge with Food Solutions New England.

Each day of the Racial Equity Challenge (April 9-29), there will be a new prompt posted here to guide your journey. We hope to have a vibrant conversation with diverse perspectives and thoughtful reflections – please join in!

The prompts are suggestions for daily engagement in the Racial Equity Challenge and you can always check out our resource list for more. You can also use this tool to record your own learning.

We invite you to share your reflections on the daily prompts through the comment section of each post. We also encourage you to share through poetry (original or not) and through art – music, video, and visuals (if you can share a link). Please feel free to share related resources, learnings, conversations, or actions, too.

You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter #FSNEEquityChallenge.

Each day, one of our moderators will be commenting to help keep the dialogue going.

If you missed our introductory webinar, you can view it here.

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5 thoughts on “Welcome!”

  1. Build building capacity (shared language, open, honest, uncomfortable discussion, culture, identity, ability) for discussing and addressing issues around race
    Indentify strategies for reaching out to and establishing working, trusting relationships with students and families
    As a person, understand the history of racial construct, the ongoing uses of this construct, and the possible next steps for us as educators and members of society: what do we know, what can/should we do next?
    What do you hope to gain from this experience? What are you hoping to give to this experience by participating? I hope to build a building culture of honest, constructive dialogue, personal and building identity, understanding my role, what I bring, what I could be bringing to the school, to students, families and the greater community.
    Read the Charles Blow article, “Constructing A Conversation On Race” (attached as PDF). What resonates for you as an educator? …as a human being?
    The history and persistent myths and realities around racial identity, stereotypying, identity-building. What roles do race play in students’ lives? In our lives? What could I be doing “better/” What role/impact does my life and history as a religious minority female play in this process?
    Passover Connections: Often the only practicing Jewish person at my seders I’m mindful of the pedantic role the leader plays in the seder. I’ve rewritten the Haggadah to include voices from many heritages, and the recognition and commitment to address and fix the isms and other plagues of society. My children know the issues, and have acknowledged that balance of education and preaching, discussion and emotional exhaustion. The seder is an ever-evolving meal, rooted in history and informed by events, evolving understanding and attendees at the event. Hopefully, there is at least one seder in one’s Passover each year during which energetic discussions will take place.

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  2. How do you think about your racial identity and its relevance to your work/volunteerism/ studies in the food system?
    I watched two videos, A Conversation About Growing Up Black and A Conversation With White People On Race: just the wording of the each of the titles reveals so much of what must be acknowledged, discussed, and dealt with: growing up black, that parents/guardians must instruct their boys and young men about how to be in the world, in order for them to survive, to avoid, to duck, to pretend, be hyper-aware of how they are perceived in the world, whereas white children are not expected to be hyper-aware of how they are perceived, but merely might discuss race, as if they have no role to play, no responsibility to “pretend” in society. Unless you are female, in which case, you need to dress, look, act a certain way, in order to avoid or attract attention, stay safe, get to where you’re going in a safe manner. Growing up Jewish and female in the 1960s, I was the target of anti-Semitism, sexism, and that in between place of not being safe in society because of these two pieces of my identity. To many I “passed” because I’m white, but any discussion of my religion and gender, and outspokeness put me in a more precarious place, not quite accepted.
    Where am I in work/food system? Adamant about non-GMO, organic and affordable vegetarian-based foods for all; yes, my personal preferences, but also with a commitment to global sustainability of food resources for all. I know this requires much deeper thinking. Not everyone shares the same dietary preferences, and it is possible to launch and support discussions that provide cultural exchanges of knowledge, support for more affordable food habits, and the addressing of food insecurity. We don’t have a choice.

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  3. How the equality vs. equity graphic has been adapted in different ways to enhance the conversation about power, privilege, oppression, disparity and transformation.

    When I first looked at the illustration I focused on the equity side. I found the picture on the right more animated, happy, and supportive to the team playing ball. In my understanding equity means fairness. I think fairness is indicative of a person’s beliefs, and how they were raised. When I go to a baseball game I want the players to be fair meaning I want them to follow the rules of the game.
    I realize there are many interpretations fairness. Something that feels fair to one person may not feel fair to another. I think this picture is powerful in a subtle way because it shows the difference between equality and equity.

    I can use this image as a reminder that no matter what color, shape, size, or race someone is we are all united as a country together like a team. When someone hit a homerun we should applaud and cheer each other on. It makes no sense to stand around and watch while something so exciting is happening around us. I will picture this image when volunteering for events that I am passionate about. I want other to be excited to get involved and work together. When I study others expressions and reactions to events I would like to see people sharing their accomplishments while they support one another.

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  4. What a powerful, important article about the intersections, the commonalities we share as humans: ethnicity, skin color, race, class, gender identity, religion, age, language(s) spoken and understood, etc. Any student of history and person living in or at the edges of society – any person living mindfully – is more than just one slice of identity. Divisions that wreak havoc on us, such as sections of the US suffragette movement that excluded nonwhites; the class divisions that prevented AFL organizers from including more industrialized workers and nonwhite peoples; the exclusion of women in certain occupations/sectors of the economy; the rampant agism and disregarding of seniors; exclusion of people with “pre-existing medical conditions – all serve an anti-humanity purpose. We must continue the conversations that keep us connected, listening, evolving in ways that keep us recognizing each other as gifts to society.

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