As a part of its statewide Farm to ECE work, The Food Trust developed a racial equity framework to evaluate planning, decision-making and resource allocation through a racial equity lens. We believe that Farm to ECE can be a platform for advancing racial equity by working to make healthy, local foods and high-quality early learning environments accessible and affordable for children and families; supporting fair compensation, professional development and career pathways for the early childhood workforce; and expanding market opportunities for underrepresented farmers.
The Food Trust’s Farm to ECE team began this work in the fall of 2016 under the leadership of Khari Graves, FAO Schwartz Foundation Fellow. After traveling to Atlanta, GA to attend Facing Race, a national multiracial gathering on racial justice, Khari brought back an analysis that inspired the team to begin taking a critical look at issues related to racial equity. Khari’s insights brought into focus the need to move racial equity from the periphery to the center of our work.With this impetus, the team started on the path of developing an equity framework.
The Food Trust’s ECE team recognizes that its equity work requires continued self-reflection, learning, and resolve. The ultimate objective of this work is to advance racial equity in outcomes through transformative change. We are grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its leadership in making racial equity a priority and continuing to work in partnership with grantees and communities to support systemic efforts to dismantle racial and structural inequities. Together we can promote racial healing, advance equity and co-create a future where all children can thrive.
The Food Trust is currently in the process of operationalizing its racial equity framework. This will be done in partnership with a statewide Farm to ECE Advisory Board, comprising individuals who have the experience, expertise and insights to lead the initiative from a theoretical framework that guides practice to racial equity practice that sparks equitable systems change.