Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
In pursuing our vision of connecting all children to healthy food, FoodCorps embraces equity, diversity and inclusion as strategic and moral imperatives in our work. As an organization, we seek to overcome health disparities that take an unfair toll on children of color and children growing up in low-income households. We recognize and help our stakeholders name and understand the structural inequalities and the cycles of discrimination based on place, race, and class that both reinforce and are reinforced by the problem we are trying to solve. And we are convinced that for FoodCorps to be effective, we must not replicate the inequality we see in society at large, but to the extent our resources allow, we must become a model for the change we seek. Accordingly:
We Set Strategy Through an Equity Lens
FoodCorps does its work within the context of a food system in which people of color and low-income families are more likely to experience diet-related disease and have limited access to healthy foods. Our understanding of the correlation between race, socioeconomic status and health outcomes for America’s children guides our strategy as it relates to where we serve, who we select as service members, what partners we work with, and how we train and communicate with all members of the FoodCorps community. This perspective has shaped the FoodCorps program and will continue to inform how we grow and evolve, putting equity at the center of the change we seek, and the path we take to achieve it.
We Foster Diversity on Our Team and Across Our Network
We are more innovative and responsive when our staff, board, service members and partners represent a diversity of perspectives and life experiences and feel empowered to raise their voices, offer opinions, and be engaged. We invite individuals from diverse races, ethnicities, viewpoints, experiences, economic backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities and orientations to participate in and shape our program. By so doing, we ensure that our approach is relevant to and supported by the varied communities we serve. Further, we attract and maintain talented individuals in our network, creating alignment of understanding and purpose at all levels of FoodCorps.
We Ensure Sustained Impact Through the Inclusion and Leadership of Local Voices
FoodCorps strives to make lasting change that endures beyond an individual service member’s time with FoodCorps. In order to do that, we recognize that ownership of this important work must live not with our corps members or our national organization, but with the school communities we partner with and serve. Accordingly, we invest time, resources and focus in building partner and stakeholder networks and including the voices of those we serve in our decision-making process; we build and harness volunteer, parent and neighborhood investment in our cause; we encourage local recruitment of corps members; and we train leaders so that they remain engaged in this work post-FoodCorps, often in the same communities they served.
As a national network of partners and individuals, we are positioned well to create a platform for ongoing opportunities for dialogue and reflection around this topic. We take this seriously and are privileged to learn from the experiences of our peers and partners who have created a foundation for this conversation to take place. We acknowledge that this work is not easy and our process will evolve as we continue to learn the best ways to create a more inclusive organization and to build an equitable school food system for all children.