Black Lives Matter – A message from John and Ocean Robbins

Recent occasions have been heartbreaking, and they’ve uncovered extra extensively, how pervasive and painful racism is in our world. Our hearts exit to everybody who’s hurting, to everybody who’s frightened, and notably to the communities of shade which are bearing the horrible brunt of systemic racism, as they’ve been for hundreds of years.

Along with so many individuals, we really feel horror and outrage on the atrocities of police brutality which are all too widespread immediately. What’s worse, we all know the homicide of George Floyd by Minneapolis law enforcement officials is a intestine-wrenching instance of systematic and devastating bias in legislation enforcement and the prison justice system. How can anybody with goodwill of their hearts not be abhorred that Black persons are incarcerated 5 instances as usually as White folks?

Statistically, the darker your pores and skin shade, the extra doubtless you might be to be the sufferer of police violence — and additionally to develop up poor (particularly black males); to be denied loans, promotions, and housing alternatives; to reside in a neighborhood with polluted air and water; to lack entry to nutritious and wholesome meals; and to endure from weight problems, kind 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart illness, and all the opposite persistent ailments which are so prevalent immediately.

In the U.S., Black youngsters have a 500% increased demise charge from bronchial asthma in comparison with White youngsters.

And now, Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at greater than thrice the speed of White folks.

We have considered ourselves as moderately energetic and educated proponents of racial justice. John had the life-reworking privilege of figuring out, following, and working with, Dr. Martin Luther King within the 1960s. He has been in search of to hold on Dr. King’s legacy ever since. Before there was a Food Revolution Network, Ocean was the co-founder and director of a world and deliberately multicultural nonprofit that deeply explored problems with race, class, and energy nearly day by day. But now, we understand that we’ve turn out to be, as so many White folks usually are, blinded by our privilege. We want it hadn’t taken one other horrific occasion to wake us up, and to get up so many people.

Is it attainable that we might now be at a second in historical past when some grievously overdue modifications can lastly be made to deal with the racism that’s such an unsightly stain on all of us? We hope so.

Some folks say that “all lives matter.” And after all, it’s true. But if a home is on fireplace, you don’t name the fireplace division and say “all houses matter.” You name the fireplace division to the particular home that wants pressing consideration. Today, we are saying Black Lives Matter, particularly, as a result of it’s pressing that we handle and heal the egregious injustices which are devastating so many within the Black neighborhood.

At Food Revolution Network, our mission has lengthy been wholesome, moral, and sustainable meals for all. Since we based FRN in 2012, we’ve advocated for higher therapy of restaurant, farm, and meals system staff, who’re disproportionately folks of shade. Recognizing the profound hyperlink between race and class, we’ve labored for presidency meals subsidy modifications that may make more healthy meals extra reasonably priced; we’ve sponsored the planting of tons of of 1000’s of fruit and nut bushes in low-revenue communities; we’ve offered 1000’s of scholarships to make our work out there to individuals who in any other case wouldn’t be capable to afford it.

And, we all know there may be nonetheless a lot extra we will and should do.

Today we’re redoubling our efforts to be taught, to hear, and to deal with the obtrusive inequities which have existed for much too lengthy in meals, well being, and alternative.

In the times, weeks, and months to come back, we won’t solely be speaking extra boldly about these disparities but additionally offering sources for constructive motion. You’ll additionally see us highlighting and amplifying the voices of individuals of shade who carry knowledge, management, and compassion to those troubled instances.

We’re going through some difficult — and for many individuals — devastating realities. And we’re humbled and grateful to have the ability to stroll this journey with you. We consider that, if sufficient of us put our hearts and minds collectively, we will be taught, face the ache, carry love the place it’s wanted, and do one thing significant to assist.

Yours in hope, prayer, and motion for a greater world,

— John Robbins and Ocean Robbins, Co-founders
Food Revolution Network
John and Ocean Robbins holding veggies

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