Black Lives Matter. This is a conversation I’ve been having with many people across our company—on slack, on zoom, in groups, individually—for most of this week.
Which in many ways further exposes the problem.
This shouldn’t be a new conversation. Systemic racial injustice has long been a brutal reality for Black people in America. We see the effect on the agriculture industry, with over 95% of American farmers being white.
Our mission at Square Roots is to bring local, real food to people in cities by empowering the next generation of leaders in urban farming. We’ve always put an emphasis on creating pathways for more young people to enter the industry. But in reflecting this month, it’s obvious we need to relook at how we deliver on that mission, through the lens of anti-racism, to ensure that the pathways we create are absolutely accessible to, and successful for, young people of color, particularly young Black people.
With that understanding, this week I’ve also had to confront the uncomfortable truth that I am part of the problem. And I have an urgent obligation to make sure the company I lead as CEO does better.
So let’s state this upfront: what we're doing now—putting in the work to ensure we become an anti-racist company—is too late. Nevertheless, here is what we are doing: