Dear FEED friends,
I write this letter with absolute conviction and also a heap of humility. My conviction first and foremost is that black lives matter. Period. Fact. Humility, because I understand that I will never truly understand. But this moment is not about me, it is about the black community. It is about all of us as individuals and as a nation.
I founded FEED 13 years ago as a human rights organization. Every action we take, and every purchase made by our community, helps fight for a basic human right, the right to something as fundamental and essential as food. We are not blind to the realities of systemic racism – hunger is an issue that disproportionately impacts people of color. And we very much believe that everyone deserves the right to a life free from discrimination, fear and racial injustice. This is also a basic human right.
I acknowledge that it is not enough to simply make these statements, as a brand or as a white person, it is about taking action. To start, FEED will be making a $5,000 donation to the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to support their work fighting for racial justice.
We will also be taking a break from our regularly scheduled social media marketing this week to make space for the critical conversations happening right now.
It has always been our belief that through collective action, we have the power to create lasting change – to build a better, kinder, more equal world. These actions start with each of us as individuals. We need to do the uncomfortable soul-searching work to uncover our own biases, to recognize the privilege, safety, and access our skin color has helped grant us, to listen, read, and learn. We are called to talk about racism, with our families, friends, and teammates, even when – especially when – it is uncomfortable to do so. Many of us, myself included, consciously or unconsciously, might have believed that it was not our ‘place’ to talk about race, an act that has only perpetuated racism and stifled awareness and the potential for real systematic change. If there’s one thing we can all do, it’s to start a conversation.
We can also take action by protesting and demonstrating peacefully, by donating to organizations who are doing the important work on the ground to seek justice and further the movement, by supporting black-owned businesses, by supporting black artists, by encouraging diversity and inclusion practices in our own businesses, schools, and cultural institutions, and by VOTING.There is much work to be done, so let’s get to it. With love, Lauren
Here is a list of books, articles, resources, and people that have educated and inspired me and some that are next on my list.
- “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- "So You Want to Talk About Race," by Ijeoma Oluo
- "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- "Beloved," by Toni Morrison
- "Your Silence Will Not Protect You," essays by Audre Lorde
- "How to be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi
- "We're Different, We're the Same" (children's book)
- 13th: A powerful documentary by Ava DuVernay about racial inequality and our criminal justice system.
- "How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion" | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
- “Hell You Talmabout” by Janelle Monae f. Wondaland Records – I saw David Bryne cover this song in his Broadway performance of “American Utopia” and was moved to tears.
- 1619 (New York Times) podcast
- About Race podcast
- "Talking Race with Young Children", NPR podcast episode
- "Raising Good Humans: How to talk to kids about race, gender, and other taboo topics"
- Campaign Zero
- NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- Color of Change
- Black Lives Matter Foundation
- The official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- I Run with Maud
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Reclaim the Block
- Black Visions Collective
- We the Protestors
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute If you do not have the means to donate right now, you can also call or text your representatives and of course, make sure you are registered to vote.
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