OpenTEAM Statement on racial equity in agriculture
Developed by: OpenTEAM Secretariat
OpenTEAM is a collaborative network supporting the emergence and continued viability of a global food system that is a resilient driver of healthy soil, healthy food for all, and racial equity to support thriving communities.
We acknowledge that agriculture has a troubled history of colonization, desertification, slavery and extraction.
However we are now demanding more from agriculture, not just to produce more food, fiber and energy, but also to provide environmental services such as equitable access to clean air, water, habitat and biodiversity and be a catalyst for change in how we interact with each other and our environment.
Our future agriculture must be liberating, not confining, and consciously work to undo the institutional injustices of the past that have limited our shared potential and disproportionately affected black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and historically marginalized communities.
- We must be deliberate in the tools and communities we co-create to assure that they do not perpetuate inequity, and do not speak For but With.
- Instead we must actively work to build communities that are just, equitable, and inclusive and includes representation from BIPOC and historically marginalized communities.
- We have the potential to shift the conversation from fighting over scarce resources towards sharing knowledge to create natural abundance and resilience and strength through diversity.
As an OpenTEAM community, we commit to:
- BIPOC representation both in individual and organizational membership within our communities of practice.
- Actively recruit and support BIPOC members for leadership within the community working groups.
- Elevate BIPOC speakers into “main stage” events to elevate stories and expand the conversation beyond working groups.
- Collaborate with our member organizations to build upon, reinforce and amplify their own efforts to address racial equity.
- Co-create design processes for OpenTEAM tools and technology, with the creation of greater equity and trust in agricultural value creation as a core objective.
The stakes are huge, and the choices we make will affect the quality of the civilization that we live in, the quality of the air and water, the species with whom we share the planet, our resilience to floods and droughts, the nature of conflict, and the climate and diversity that we leave the next generations.
In order to harness the shared innovation that happens every day on every farm, in every backyard and realize the vast potential for sharing across a rich and diverse global network we must democratize the code for agriculture. To benefit us all, we must have equity and trust. The benefits are so great and the risks are so dire. We each need everyone everywhere to have access to the best possible agricultural knowledge because together we have the capacity to improve soil health faster than we thought possible.