The anti-racism movement is most certainly not a new thing. But with the continued rise of social injustice, hate crimes, and misuse of power, the fight for equality, peace, and justice for all is just as prevalent today as it was when the movement began decades ago.
- Food companies worldwide have a unique opportunity to embrace and support anti-racism through their brand's platform and food!
- We've put together a list of things you can do as a business to not just incorporate anti-racism into your brand but to actually bean anti-racist food company.
- Some are easy. Some are not. But all of them are doable.
1. Support Your Black Staff
Black Americans are tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of being treated unequally. Tired of the hate and tired of defending themselves. You have an opportunity to support them in their plight.
1. Provide a safe space for conversation. Your black and brown employees should have an opportunity to talk to you and co-workers about their struggles and how you all can help ease the burden. Open up the conversation over an after hours meal, team building night, or office gathering.
2. Start a bail fund. Many black Americans want to exercise their Constitutional right to protest. Support that with an organizational bail fund.
3. Let them lead. Allow your black employees to lead the anti-racism initiative at your company. If you're a white manager or business owner, they will likely know better steps to take than you.
2. Give, give, give
Whether you're a small, family-owned restaurant or the owner of a big box brand food staple, you have an opportunity to donate your time, money, and resources to anti-racism organizations.
- Volunteer. Check out organizations like EmbraceRace or the Grassroots Law Project for opportunities to respond to the racial crisis in America. You can also volunteer to serve a black family in need of support due to effects of racial injustice.
- Donate.There are literally tons of anti-racism focused organizations that would be happy to receive your money. We suggest picking one that's close to your heart. Obviously, Black Lives Matter is an excellent one as well as the Equal Justice Initiative.
- Fundraise. If you're a restaurant, you're in a perfect position to market a fundraising night where you donate a portion (or all) of the proceeds to an anti-racism organization of your choice. If you're not a restaurant, you can use your products as a fundraiser! If the Girl Scouts and Krispy Kreme can do it, so can you.
3. Support black-owned businesses
Supporting a black-owned business, particularly now during the pandemic, may be the only thing that keeps them operational. Which is crucial to our economy and their families.
- Black-owned businesses often have trouble securing loans and accessing federal aid programs. As a matter of fact, even when they do get access to federal aid, they usually don't receive the full amount they requested. Some don't receive any.
VICE is chock full of resources to help you find black-owned restaurants in your area that need your support. The EatOkra App is also another great resource for that!
- If you live in the Bay Area, the SFist has an exhaustive list of black-owned businesses (not just restaurants) that could use your help!
4. Follow the hashtags
At this point, no one could possibly underestimate the power of social media! Use your social media prowess to make a change. Or you can even collaborate with black-owned businesses. It doesn't even have to be food industry related. All the likes, shares, and comments add up!
Here is a list of some of the most popular and frequently used anti-racism and BLM hashtags you can follow and support:
- - #amplifymelanatedvoices
- - #dismantlewhitesupremacy
- Engage in and encourage discussion on social media platforms about racial issues that make a difference.
5. Create a New Product
Ben and Jerry's did a really cool thing. They created a flavor called Justice Remix'd to support criminal justice reform. A portion of the sales of each of those products was donated to The Advancement Project
- Food companies love food. That's a given! And they love creating.
- Why not use your love of food to create something specifically designed to support the black community? Something that clearly states your company won't stand for racial injustice and inequality.
- You could even create special branding for that product!
- It will take more than corporate philanthropy to address systemic racism. It requires everyone making a collective effort to create change.
6. Educate Yourself and Your Employees
This may seem a bit obvious, but many companies don't invest the time or money into creating and implementing anti-racism training that is effective.
- The truth is, many times we don't realize we're being racist. It's a sad state of affairs.
- Anti-racism trainers have been prepared for increased demand for anti-racism training in the workplace for decades. They've been waiting in the wings for that time when businesses need them the most.
- One of the best things you can do to support the anti-racism movement is to educate yourself and your employees on inclusivity and diversity.
- Here are some fantastic resources:
1. Race Forward.This is an organization that assesses how ready a business and its employees are to invest money in centering their voice around their employees who are people of color.
2. Overcoming Racism is a group that does anti-racism training for businesses and corporations. They are not afraid to turn you down as a client if you don't meet their standards though. If you're trying to "check all the boxes", this group isn't for you. Also, we hope you're not trying to just check all the boxes.
3. Sistah Vegan is organized by Dr. A Breeze Harper, who offers webinars, workshops, and on-site trainings through her consulting and strategic planning services. She focuses on ethical consumption, food, identity, and social impact, particularly in the food industry!
7. Be empathetic
If you're white (or any other race besides black), you simply won't ever understand what it's like to be black.
- Not truly. Their suffering will never be your suffering.
- But you can show empathy daily. Listen to them. See them. Seek to understand them. Show kindness always. Make the effort in your life and business to support the black community in their fight against inequality.
- We can be the change. Together.
- Have other suggestions or resources that would help food companies embrace anti-racism? Let us know! Shoot us an email or fill out the form below. We are an inclusive community of foodies and we care about the opinions of our foodie friends. We are here to learn, grow and help others!