EIJ and New Board Member Announcement
The following message was recently sent to our Slow Food Columbus listserv. If you would like to receive future announcements from us, please contact us at this address.
Dear Friends of Slow Food, As the summer season begins to settle here in central Ohio, we find ourselves in a truly historic moment categorized by social distancing, unrest, and tension. Together, with Slow Food chapters throughout the United States, Slow Food Columbus remains committed to the principles of equity, inclusion, and justice (EIJ), not only within the realm of a sustainably healthy food system, but a larger cultural one where everyone's voices are seated at the same table. Such a shift requires the active acknowledgment of a system that has been historically unequal and our active partnership, promotion, and participation with underrepresented populations to instill meaningful change. We remain committed to building upon our previous relationships and establishing new ones throughout the region; reaching out to communities that have not been well represented at our events; and reducing economic barriers to our events, while remaining cognizant of our need to raise funds. In so doing, we hope to foster a community that is conscientious of systemic biases and privileges and is working to dismantle them. Without doing so, we cannot truly have a system that claims to promote good, clean, and fair food for all. To read more about racial inequality as it pertains to our food system, we invite you to read this speech, which was delivered by Dr. John Fisk at the 2018 National Good Food Network Conference. In addition, click here to learn more about Slow Food USA's EIJ Manifesto. To these ends, we welcome your participation in Slow Food Columbus. If you are a producer of good, clean, and fair food, who is struggling to adapt to our changing climate or is in need of people to purchase your yields; or you are a consumer who wants to support our food system but do not know where or how, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a chef whose cooking reflects your cultural heritage or that of your ancestors, we want to promote and connect with you. If you are an educator and would like us to speak to your students about Slow Food, or you would perhaps be interested in participating in our next lecture series (on EIJ), we'd love to hear from you, as well. And if you are in the fortunate position to be able to contribute resources (time, event space, etc.) to help us create events that are accessible to all, please do contact us. So our membership is aware, in response to COVID-19, we have donated money on behalf of the group to Slow Food International, and we are currently working to identify local supporters of the Slow Food mission that we will support in turn by purchasing food that will then be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. If you are interested in learning of other ways to contribute financially to Slow Food USA's various initiatives, please explore the "Support" section of the website. Given the above, we want to inform you of a few changes to our chapter Board. First, we would like for you to join us in thanking Drew Shonk and Cynthia Walters for their years of service to the Slow Food Columbus Board. Drew had been our long-standing Treasurer, while Cynthia headed up our school gardens program. Cynthia's departure in particular will allow her to focus on her SFUSA national roles of Slow Food Ohio Governor, co-chair of the School Garden Network, and member of the Food and Farming Steering Committee. If you would like to reach out to Cynthia, you may contact her at this email address. Thank you Drew and Cynthia! Second, we are proud to welcome four new members: Caitlin Bergman, Christine Hawks, Katie Hart, and Ed Piehl. We are excited for the enthusiasm and new energy they bring to the group, and we look forward to the many ways they can help us connect consumers and producers, and current and new members, throughout our region. Caitlin and Christine will serve as co-chairs of our developing Producers Panel, Katie will focus on public outreach and education, and Ed will take over new member initiatives. Moreover, our other Board members have shifted or will soon shift their focus within the group. For more information on the members of the Board, we invite you to learn more about us at this link. Welcome Caitlin, Christine, Katie, and Ed! Slowly, Your Slow Food Columbus Board
Resources for your consideration:
A reading list focused on EIJ and the histories of our food system: https://bookshop.org/lists/equity-inclusion-and-justice
Young Farmers Racial Equity Toolkit: https://www.youngfarmers.org/resource/racialequitytoolkit/
Learn about the Indigenous Terra Madre Network: https://www.slowfood.com/our-network/indigenous/about-us/
Register for Slow Food Live events or watch previous recordings: https://slowfoodusa.org/slow-food-live/