How do you approach conversations about race and racism in your food system-related work/volunteerism/studies?

If you have not already seen it, or even if you have, watch the Jay Smooth TEDx Talk – “How I learned to stop worrying and love discussing race.”

Then on a scale of 0-5, rate how comfortable you are talking about race and racism:
0 = I would rather not talk about race/racism.
1 = I am very uncomfortable talking about race/racism.
2 = I am usually uncomfortable talking about race/racism.
3 = I am sometimes uncomfortable talking about race/racism.
4 = I am usually comfortable talking about race/racism.
5 = I am very comfortable talking about race/racism.

How comfortable are you talking about race with those with whom you work most closely in the food system? (If you did the Challenge last year, how does your answer this year compare with your response last year? If different, what has contributed to that difference?) What are the implications? How might you become more comfortable talking with others about race and racism?

Also take a look at the Courageous Conversations Compass from Glenn Singleton, which was created to help people understand how we each process and engage with information about race. It is a way to understand one another’s opinions and beliefs. According to the compass, there are 4 ways that people deal with race: Emotional, Intellectual, Moral, and Social. How do you typically deal with and enter into conversations about race and racism?


How do you think about your racial identity and its relevance to your work/volunteerism/ studies in the food system?

How do you identify racially and how does this impact your perspective on and work/studies in the food system? As background for your reflections on this question, watch some of the The New York Times series of short films on racial identity, including A Conversation About Growing Up Black, A Conversation With Latinos on Race, A Conversation with Asian-Americans on Race, A Conversation With White People on Race.

What are you hoping to gain from the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge?

Read the “Backgrounder” from Food First, “Dismantling Racism in the Food System: From Mistreatment to Transformation.” Reflect on why you signed up for the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. Name at least 3 reasons why. What are you hoping to gain from this experience? What are you hoping to give to this experience by participating? If you have participated previously in the Challenge, what are you hoping to gain and give that is different from the last time you participated?

How can you bring justice to the table?

Tomorrow is the first night of Passover, a Jewish holiday observed with a ritual meal called a seder. Seders feature storytelling and asking questions. Whether you’re sitting down to a seder or any other meal, in the next couple of days or any time during the Challenge, consider how you might talk with others over food about issues of injustice.