Introduction to MOFGA's Equity and Justice Work
In 2019 the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) undertook a comprehensive 10-year impact planning process for the organization, which laid the foundation for our work from 2020-2030. As part of this process we thought deeply about our goal to create a food system that is healthy and fair for all of us through our education, training and advocacy efforts. It became clear to the staff during this time that we cannot create the food system that we would like without furthering our own education and work on diversity, equity and inclusion. Staff-wide learning and listening has taken place and helped to inform the content of this statement. As a staff we participated in trainings from the following organizations and programs:
This work is ongoing and evolving. We will continue to incorporate what we learn into our programs and welcome feedback.
A statement from the staff of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is committed to creating a food system that is just and equitable for all. The following equity statement is a work in progress that we commit to revisit on a quarterly basis, knowing that the work of building a just and equitable food system is ongoing and that we are constantly learning how to better center and support marginalized voices.
The truths we hold:
- Modern agriculture is built on unceded traditional Indigenous lands through human exploitation and co-opted knowledge.
- As a white-led organization, we must be explicit and transparent about how we are working towards our commitments to social justice.
- We believe in economic, environmental and social justice for all people involved in Maine’s food system, including those most impacted by historic and present-day systemic oppression including white supremacy, colonization and extractive capitalism.
- We must listen, learn and support the resilient and strong communities that we believe the organic movement must represent.
We believe the following commitments will bring us closer to centering equity and justice in our work:
- We commit to listening and repairing the past and current harms of MOFGA’s work.
- We commit to engaging in land justice work on occupied Wabanaki Confederacy land.
- We commit to centering marginalized voices — including Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC); lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+); low-income; veteran; and female voices — when designing and implementing programs.
- We commit to long-term learning about and engagement in justice work at all levels of our organization, including our board of directors, staff, volunteers and membership, and the broader community of eaters and growers in Maine.
Here are the actions we are currently taking and will continue to take:
- Listening to feedback and engaging stakeholders
- Continuing co-learning and education about privilege, bias and discrimination for MOFGA’s staff and board, and the wider community
- Ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion goals are in all staff work plans and our organization’s impact plan, which was adopted by the board in 2019
- Sharing our platforms to lift up marginalized voices
- Exploring both state and federal policy work to support our equity and justice goals including policies that support workers’ rights, food sovereignty and land access
- Decolonizing our educational programs, including sharing the origin of many organic principles that have roots in BIPOC communities
- Reducing barriers to organic certification
- Using farming programs as a tool to help farmers overcome barriers such as access to land, capital and education
- Improving the accessibility of workshops through expanded scholarship and registration options
- Building relationships and supporting partner organizations that are led by BIPOC and other marginalized people
- Integrating options for land reparations into speakers’ honorariums
We share this equity statement to be transparent about the work MOFGA is committing to and so we will be held accountable to the impact we wish to achieve as an organization, both internally and externally.