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Racial Equity

Marbleseed stands in solidarity with all of the farmers, partner organizations, and community members who are working toward racial equity and justice.

Marbleseed was founded in 1995 with the mission to support farmers in their transition toward regenerative, organic farming systems that are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just. However, we know that in an unjust food system, not all farmers are given the same opportunity to thrive.

The story of agriculture and farming in the United States cannot be separated from its history of oppression, enslavement, and brutality inflicted on people of color since its founding. From the initial genocide and theft of land from Indigenous communities to discriminatory USDA lending practices and ongoing disparities in land tenure, farming systems in the United States have favored white farmers and landowners and added barriers to farmers of color. Today, we continue to see extensions of racist policies through sharecropping, tenant farming, farmworker abuse, and the exploitation of generations of immigrants.

The repercussions continue to be felt and are visible in the 2017 United States census which showed that in organic farming, similarly to conventional farming, 96.4% of farm owners are white. Meanwhile, just 8% of organic farmers identified as Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black/African American, Native Hawaiin or Pacific Islander, or multiracial.

Marbleseed is committed to listening, learning, and working as co-conspirators with Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led food and farming organizations. Internally, Marbleseed is working to better reflect a diverse and representative food and farming movement in our programs and leadership structures. We will continue to broaden our own understanding of the systemic issues that need to be addressed, work to grow our own cultural humility, and look for ways to improve how we serve this community and cultivate a culture of belonging.There is still much to be done and we are grateful for the community of support and opportunity for accountability, as we continue to work toward a more just and inclusive food and farming system.

Organic, sustainable, and regenerative farmers understand the value of diverse ecosystems. We know that diversity creates resiliency. It provides a foundation for every plant, animal, and person to offer their own best piece toward an even greater whole. We also know that when one part of the system is broken, it threatens the health of the entire system.

In this spirit, we invite everyone in our community to engage in the movement for racial equity and justice. Begin or continue your learning with some recommended racial equity resources in our Resource Directory and consider supporting your local library and BIPOC-owned independent bookstores as you build your learning library.

If you would like to connect with us about racial justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, please email info@marbleseed.org or call our office at 715-778-5775. We will continue to curate this list by listening to and following the guidance of communities of color.