As an organization, The Local has struggled with how to respond in a meaningful way to the recent acts of brutality against racialized individuals. The resulting protests have made us realize that although our values of dignity, respect, inclusion, and collaboration are the cornerstone of what we do, we don’t always get it right. While we certainly stand in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and racialized neighbours, we now know that isn’t enough.
We should do better. We can do better. We will do better.
Here is our commitment to our community, to those that are targets of inequality and brutality, and to our patrons, volunteers, and participants:
- To amplify the voice of individuals who are targets of racism:
a. We will create an advisory committee of individuals with a lived experience perspective that will be a sounding board for the Executive Director as we assess current programming and develop new services, to ensure that we are living our values concretely for those that suffer injustice.
b. We will actively seek individuals with a lived experience perspective to become board directors to inform our governing body on issues of inequality as it considers and fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities.
- To better educate ourselves and our community on the issues of anti-racism and oppressive practices:
a. All staff members will be required to undergo professional development to better understand how our language, methods of operation, and facilitation strategies affect our relationships with those that are marginalized by racism, with the goal of improving how we operate on a day to day basis.
b. Our volunteer orientation will include sensitivity training.
c. We will continue to use our social media platforms to educate and inform our community with factual information that comes from verified sources.
Food justice is central to everything we’ve committed to, but the lens of justice on this issue is much wider. And we need to act now. Therefore, we pledge to have the above commitments in place for our organization by the end of this fiscal year – March 31, 2021. This is our promise to our community, because