Beyond solidarity statements: Commitments from SeedChange

June 12, 2020

Food sovereignty cannot be realized without dismantling the oppressive structures that marginalize and endanger Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

SeedChange acknowledges the grief and anger felt by Black communities who continue to face unspeakable violence and discrimination. We denounce all violence enacted upon people in their homes, as they go about their daily lives, and as they protest injustice.

Food sovereignty cannot be realized without dismantling the oppressive structures that marginalize and endanger Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), and further jeopardize 2SLGBTQQIAP+ * Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

We cannot dismantle these oppressive structures without strong BIPOC leadership. SeedChange wishes to celebrate this leadership, and to strongly state that we need more of it.

This moment calls us to acknowledge the deep seated issues of racism and oppression in the food system, and within the food movement itself. Our organizations are not immune: we can cause harm in our programs and within our workplaces. Conversations happen, workshops take place, but we need to address these issues in a systemic way. We are committed to social and environmental justice.

And we have a lot of work to do.

Beyond a statement of solidarity, SeedChange wishes to acknowledge the issues within our movement, the harms that have been caused by our organization, and alongside this, our commitment to action.

Last year the SeedChange Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan with a pillar devoted to taking action for decolonization and anti-oppression. We committed to direct financial resources to Indigenous-led food sovereignty work, create culturally appropriate roles, invest in systematic anti-oppression training, improve our HR policies to help prevent and respond to harmful incidents, and offer a work environment as safe as possible for a more diverse team.

This is some of the internal work we are doing. Food sovereignty organizations have many tools to take action: our work with communities, our policy and advocacy work, our communications platforms, how we raise, allocate and invest money, and how we build and steward relationships within and outside our organizations. It is incumbent on us to put these tools to use, to learn and unlearn, and take ongoing, concrete action in pursuit of justice and food sovereignty for all. This is our commitment.

Please read the response to recent events from Leticia Ama Deawuo, chair of the SeedChange Board of Directors.

Reading/listening list

We look forward to sharing more resources and using our platforms to amplify BIPOC voices and leadership for food sovereignty.

Black food insecurity in Canada | Article by Melana Roberts

TYFPC’s Food Champion series with Cheyenne Sundance, creator and manager of Sundance Harvest, an urban farm, and Growing in the Margins, a nonprofit

Healthy food is harder to come by for the racialized and vulnerable amid COVID-19. Here’s who stepped up to help | Article about Leticia Ama Deawuo and Paul Taylor

Food, a “sort of right” | Article by Paul Taylor at FoodShare

“When you’re Black, you’re at greater risk of everything that sucks”: FoodShare’s Paul Taylor on the links between race and food insecurity

Leaders of color discuss structural racism and white privilege in the food system | Article featuring Erika Allen, Beatriz Beckford, Natasha Bowens, Andrea King Collier, Dara Cooper, Hank Herrera, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Saru Jayaraman, Navina Khanna, Joann Lo, Raj Patel, La Donna Sanders Redmond, Ricardo Salvador, Shakirah Simley, Karen Washington, Malik Yakini

We don’t farm because it’s trendy; we farm as resistance, for healing and sovereignty | Article by Ashley Gripper

Farming While Black | Book by Leah Penniman at Soulfire Farm

Black in the Garden | Podcast by Colah B Tawkin

We will continue to share resources with our community and use our platforms to amplify BIPOC voices and leadership in food sovereignty. If you have a suggestion for this list, please email

* 2SLGBTQQIAP+ means Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and pansexual