Dear friends,

At CitySeed, we firmly stand with Black Lives Matter and those who are calling for investment in communities and resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. We stand in solidarity with those who are protesting against police brutality and systemic racism in New Haven, throughout the country, and around the world. We join communities in mourning and in demanding justice for the lives that have been lost recently to police violence and racism: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Robert Fuller, Malcolm Harsch, Oluwatoyin Asojo, Malik Jones, Mubarak Soulemane, as well as others killed by police officers in Connecticut, and so many others whose names we may not know.

At CitySeed, we believe there is no food justice without racial justice. We remain committed to our organizational values of supporting community rights to food, dismantling privilege and oppression in the food system, and collaborating with community partners on food justice and inclusive growth projects.

We know that change will not come simply from declaring our solidarity and support. These past weeks, we have made space as a team to collectively listen, learn, and reflect. Going forward, we recognize that for CitySeed to meet our mission of growing an equitable food system, we will need both reflection and action on our journey to becoming an anti-racist organization.

To begin with, we are ardently recommitting to our organizational value of dismantling privilege, oppression, and racism in the local food system. We will be hosting an Undoing Racism Training with our staff and board in the coming weeks, and are also participating in city-wide conversations around food justice accountability. We are reckoning with the organization’s history and how we have fallen short in reflecting the communities we serve as a predominantly white-led organization. And we are intentionally identifying steps to move forward with an anti-racist approach to how we make decisions around leadership and human resources, programming, internal policies, outreach and advocacy.

Along the way, we commit to showing up, listening, and responding to calls to action from our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), Women and Immigrant partners in this work, including our staff, board members, and community of farmers, entrepreneurs, and chefs. CitySeed also remains available to offer financial and administrative assistance through fiscal sponsorship for food system initiatives led by community members of color.

We are determined and hopeful that CitySeed will continue to be fundamentally transformed by this work.We invite your feedback and suggestions regarding our ongoing equity work-please email us. Together, CitySeed is committed to building a just food system and thriving community that values and celebrates Black lives.

In partnership,
All of Us at CitySeed