BLM Solidarity Statement

Black Lives Matter.

Countryside stands with the Black community in the condemnation of the violence against and murders of Black people. We condemn systemic racism and its resulting inequities and injustices.

Our mission is to connect people, food, and land. We have not done enough to acknowledge how history, white privilege, and structural injustices have shaped our industry. The foundations of modern agriculture and our food system were built on discrimination, racism, violence, and injustice. From the theft of Native lands and Black slavery, to modern socio-economic inequities that perpetuate food insecurity, especially in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities, our food system needs to change. We commit to transforming our organization and working, at all levels, to fully understand the historical implications of these injustices for our current food system, and to take action to directly address them.

To take immediate action:

  • The Board of Trustees voted unanimously in June to codify the collective will of the organization to stand against racism and discrimination in any form.
  • An Ad Hoc committee of the Board has worked since then to develop a plan that will embed a culture and practice of anti-racism in our governance and operations.

Our driving commitments are:

  • We will continue to listen, learn, and grow – as individuals, and as an organization.
  • We will diversify our staff and Board. Black and POC experiences and voices will drive our efforts to serve the diversity of our region.
  • We will be accountable for our actions and outcomes. We will make our progress publicly available and welcome feedback and inquiries at any time.

These are first and small steps – we have much to learn and do. Direct and systemic racism and discrimination prevent a just and equitable society and food system. Countryside must openly and actively acknowledge and combat these realities if it is to be true to its mission and values.

Countryside CEO, Staff, and Board