Giving Compass' Take:

• Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders wrote an open letter to food system funders urging them to reconsider some of their past practices and do more to commit to racial equity and healing within their funding practices. 

• How are you utilizing charitable giving to examine and fund projects within the intersections of racial injustice, health, environment, food, and the economy? 

• Read about these organizations strengthening black communities and food systems. 

We write to you as Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders in food and agriculture who work with hundreds of grassroots communities across the country who have been at and on the frontlines of food and agriculture justice work.

You’ve articulated your commitment to equity and to racial healing and we appreciate that. Now, it’s time to put words into action, and put your money where your mouth is.

As the world is faced with the unprecedented impacts of recent events, we invite you to see the urgency to unite and build together rather than continuing a pattern of paternalistic practices that entrench our marginalization, reinforce a culture of white supremacy, and devalue the knowledge and genius in our communities.

There are many examples across the nation of foundations who have worked together to create more just ways of giving: Chorus, Surdna, Mertz, Nathan Cummings, Solutions, Solidaire, Ceres Trust, Hidden Leaf, to name a few. We ask that foundations take bold steps to stop the moving train and move in concert with BIPOC-led orgs doing work in BIPOC communities. Below we propose concrete ways these injustices can be rectified:

1) Cancel Rockefeller / WKKF / Walmart foundation’s COVID-19 assessment RFP and reallocate the funds to BIPOC-led alliances & coalitions to support the COVID response work of their grassroots members who have already been doing the work on the ground, to help reinforce their efforts.

2) WKKF Foundation restructuring or rescinding the grant to NCAT for the national “scan” and repurposing it to fund the important work BIPOC-led orgs are doing on the ground, and compensating BIPOC-led orgs to provide the information that WKKF is seeking.

3) Come together with the BIPOC food justice leaders signed onto this letter to create a Food Systems Funders Circle that is committed to multi-year, expansive process of funding the ecosystem of our work and honors the intersections of racial injustice with health, environment, food, and the economy.

Read the full article about BIPOC leaders in food and agriculture from HEAL Food Alliance at Medium.