The Great River Co-op strives to uphold the Seven Cooperative
Principles. Principle #7 is Concern for Community. We see that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face threats to their dignity, health, safety, and lives due to unjust systems and
structures, and we are concerned for our broader community.
The Board of Directors stands with those protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many before them. We protest these injustices in our society and assert that Black Lives Matter. We commit to solidarity in the fight for racial justice both in the form of educating ourselves and others, and taking action in our community. We aim to do our part to address systemic racism.
We know that there are complicated issues at the intersection of racism and the food system, and we have a responsibility to further educate ourselves on how these issues manifest and how we, as a physical store in the future, and as an organization with a platform now, can work to address them. As we learn, we will highlight BIPOC voices and concerns.
We wholeheartedly welcome input from fellow owners and community members on how the Co-op can incorporate anti-racist practices.
Here is how we can push for change as a food co-op:
-Educate ourselves and our community on systemic racism
-Take local action to support BIPOC financially and work to fight racism and injustice
-Support people and farmers of color in the Northeast, and learn about their experiences
-Promote BIPOC food and land sovereignty
-Acknowledge and support the BIPOC throughout the food system
An uncomfortable truth is that our food system was built on Indigenous land and with forced labor by people of color, and that systemic forces continue to make land sovereignty for BIPOC difficult, among many other obstacles they face.
Please take a look at the organizations described here working to advance Black food and land sovereignty and consider supporting them financially.
"Food justice is racial justice. Food and agriculture, like everything in this country, are deeply intertwined with our nation’s entrenched history of slavery and structural racism. …
As Americans rise up to respond to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, and to the ongoing violence, suppression, and brutality facing the Black community, we hope this list of organizations working to strengthen food justice, land access, and food access in the Black community will inform, inspire, and energize you to show up for racial justice." - The Civil Eats Editors
Great River Co-op Board of Directors:
Gretchen Markiewicz, Karen West, Kim Mastrianni, Jacqueline Colbertson-Dicks, Steve Fortier