Posted on Wed, September 07, 2011 by Hnin
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From its inception to its launch, The Color of Food directory took 9 months to realize. Delivered into a world where representation in the food movement is largely white and privileged, it is a fresh initiative that is already helping to connect the ever-growing network of farmers and food activists of color.
Connecting the dots between race and food is important for the success and integrity of the food movement. Tied to this is the choice we all have to invest in the voice and leadership of people of color—especially the youth. According to 28 year-old Natasha Bowens, the founder of The Color of Food and Brown.Girl.Farming, youth have the power to break barriers in transforming the food system:
Online networking might be second nature to someone who grew up in the digital age and with access to computers, but many youth are struggling to connect with Mother Nature and farming communities on the ground.
Telling a new story of farm and food movement communities is at the core of The Color of Food. Through its directory, The Color of Food hopes to facilitate connections between communities of color, to share stories that have been ignored or at risk of being lost and forgotten, and to amplify the work that communities of color are doing to change the food system.
There are of course challenges to building a more inclusive and diverse movement across race, class, and culture—even amongst communities of color. Bowens believes that we ought to embrace the challenge. She says, “If the discussion is hard, it means we’re only beginning to get to the meat of the issue. If people are uncomfortable, it’s a sign that deeply sown issues are being brought to the surface, which is the only way we can heal.”
It took 9 months for The Color of Food directory to be born. Now that it’s here, let’s support it as a community to raise it to its full potential.