Today is World Social Justice Day. A day where we promote human rights and recognize the barriers faced by many people in Canada and around the world because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, income, culture or disability.
Too many Canadians face barriers in accessing the good food they need. Income, gender, and racial inequality are all contributing factors to food insecurity and its corollaries, poor health and isolation.
At Community Food Centres Canada, we use food as a way to connect people and promote dignity, respect, empowerment, and equality. We do that by creating dignified, vibrant, and welcoming spaces that break down barriers to accessing good food and support. And we do that by advocating for policies that reduce food insecurity and poverty and promote dignity, reduce inequality, and empower communities to take control of their health and well-being.
In doing this work, we often draw on inspiration from other activists and leaders from around the world who are speaking up, speaking out, and making change happen in their communities and around the world. Here are some are the quotes that we’re thinking about today.
Food [is] a sign of the way that the global economy is structured and the way global politics works, but also a way that people can fight back.
— Raj Patel, writer, activist, and author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, The Value of Nothing, and A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things.
“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”
— Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist and former President of South Africa.
“Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.”
— Gloria Steinem, author, activist and feminist.
“Cooking cannot only balm our emotions and sustain; it is also a constant reminder of transformation and possibility.... Cooking shows us over and over again that we can make things happen, we can make change happen, with just our own hands.”
— Julia Turshen, activist and cookbook author of Now & Again, Feed the Resistance, and Small Victories.
“The real cause of hunger is the powerlessness of the poor to gain access to the resources they need to feed themselves.”
― Frances Moore Lappe, food and democracy researcher and author of Diet for a Small Planet and Daring Democracy.
“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”
— Dolores Huerta, labour leader, civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association.
“I write, speak and fight for underdogs of society because that will be my legacy, a reminder that all of us has a part to play in making the world a better place.”
— Harry Leslie Smith, WWII veteran, activist, columnist and author of Harry’s Last Stand
“If any of you happens to see an injustice, you are no longer a spectator, you are a participant, and you have an obligation to do something.”
— June Callwood, journalist, author and social activist.