Latest updates 06/10/2021

Last year Community Food Centres Canada put out a solidarity statement against anti-Black racism. We made commitments to redouble our efforts to center and promote social, racial and economic justice and health equity in all that we do.

Specifically, we commited to an anti-racist and anti-oppressive approach in our work across the country.

While there is still much work to be done, we also want to acknowledge our momentum. In the spirit of accountability, we would like to report back on what we’ve been doing to advance the objectives that we set out a year ago.

In particular, we would like to recognize Black, Indigenous and other Racialized staff members who have championed and activated this work. They have stood side-by-side with white co-workers who are working to both understand how systemic racism plays out in our organization and society at large, and to dismantle it through anti-racist practices.

Here is some of the progress we’ve made over the last year:

Our commitments

June 2020

Identifying and supporting partner organizations that are led by and work with Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities.

One year later

  • Created a database of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour led and serving organizations to ensure we are outreaching to a broader network.

  • Created a database of Indigenous, Black and People of Colour vendors, consultants, trainers and a selection process to ensure our external hiring and work is inclusive and representative of diverse racialized lenses. 

  • Through proactive outreach we increased the number of  Indigenous, Black and People of Colour led and serving organizations in our Good Food Organization (GFO) network. Currently 30 GFOs are Indigenous led and 48 are Black and/or POC led. 

  • Developed a Good Food Access Fund grant for Indigenous, Black and People of Colour led and serving organizations. Awarded 9 million dollars to Indigenous organizations and 5.8 million dollars to Black and POC led and serving organizations.

  • Hired an Indigenous Network and Knowledge Sharing Senior Specialist to increase our network of Indigenous led organizations, guide future grants, facilitate the Indigenous Knowledge Sharing Circle, provide support and create tools and resources with Indigenous led organizations, as well as offer support and consultation within CFCC. 

Continuing to provide funding, resources, and opportunities for shared advocacy for policy change aimed at social, racial and economic justice.

  • Held a free 8-week advocacy training program for our GFO and CFC partners led by the Institute for Change Leadership.

  • ​As part of our Knowledge/Exchange gathering in June, we will hold sessions on allyship, a range of policy issues, and inclusive community action. 

  • In order to support the growth of social change advocacy at our partner CFCs, we have conducted a Community Action Program Audit, and created recommendations to improve current programs with the intention of expanding these offerings to all CFCs. 

  • Released the Beyond Hunger report to highlight policy proposals that address food insecurity by increasing income support for people who are low income and funding to Black and Indigenous communities who, due to systemic racism, disproportionately experience food insecurity. 

Providing ongoing resources to support anti-racist practices across our partner networks.

  • Offered an equity training grant for our CFC partners to implement Anti-racist/Anti-oppressive training for their staff and board of directors.

  • ​Updated our CFC Operating Standards to support our CFC partners to create equity plans  

  • Virtual gatherings with our broader network of GFOs will focus on equity topics including Indigenous food sovereignty, Black-led food programming and advocacy for social change.

Continuing to learn and embed anti-racist practices, and unlearn ways in which we may reinforce systemic racism as an organization.

  • Hired a dedicated staff person who works with the Senior Leadership team and the Equity and Inclusion Committee  to guide the organization's Equity and Inclusion process.  

  • The Senior Leadership Team participated in a 4-part Implicit Bias Training

  • All staff participated in a 4-part Implicit Bias training

  • To promote ongoing all-staff learning, we have implemented regular Equity and Inclusion Learning Pods. The focus of this learning is to increase awareness of implicit bias, power dynamics and anti-racist practices in order to create stronger and more inclusive teams. Topics covered so far include: Calling in vs Calling out, Microaggressions, and Effective Feedback. 

  • All staff are currently attending a 4-week Indigenous Cultural Competency Training which includes 2 months of follow up post training. 

  • Each CFCC department created and is currently implementing its equity plans. Each department will review these plans together biannually.

  • New policies and procedures have been implemented to ensure that our hiring process is inclusive, transparent and that an equity lens is applied throughout in order to increase hiring of staff from equity seeking groups.

  • Indigenous, Black  and People of Colour staff convened a BIPOC caucus to create a regular space and time to come together to share experiences and support each other in our work.

What’s next

Community Food Centres Canada will continue to move these existing commitments forward while creating new ones to ensure that our future work always foregrounds equity and inclusion.

We are listening and learning on how to hold ourselves accountable to an anti-racist and anti-oppressive approach. Each CFCC department will continue to implement its equity plans and reassess this work at regular intervals. In addition, CFCC staff will continue to participate in anti-racist/anti-oppression training. These various activities will help to ensure that equity is firmly embedded in our organization and used as a lens to guide all our efforts.

Here are some additional commitments that we are working on at CFCC:

  • Examining how to share frontline, community stories in a respectful and dignified manner and to ensure there is an equitable representation of the diversity of our movement in these stories.

  • Convening an ethical demographic data collection working group to ensure we are collecting such data in a respectful manner and with a clear rationale for its usage.

  • Continuing all-staff training, with future topics to include: body positivity, homophobia and transphobia, and giving and receiving feedback.

  • Creating an equity lens checklist to reflect on and identify potential bias as we  establish new projects and partnerships

  • Establishing an Indigenous Advisory Circle. Brought together by the Indigenous Network and Knowledge Sharing Senior Specialist, this Circle will support, guide and advise on how the Indigenous sharing network can help advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action.

The staff at CFCC have been actively learning how to approach our work through an anti-oppressive lens and unlearn practices that reinforce systemic racism. It’s been a collective effort and our commitment to this ongoing work, both in terms of time and resources, is strong.

There is still much more to do, but together we’ll continue to advocate for transformative change that centers social, racial and economic justice.   

In service and solidarity,

The staff at Community Food Centres Canada