Diversity & Inclusion

On June 15, 2020 Alpha Zeta released the following statement -

Alpha Zeta condemns racism and discrimination in all its forms We stand with our Black students, advisors, and alumni. We are hurt and outraged by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor. These tragedies bring to the forefront the fears and injustices that Black Americans have faced every day for generations.  The recent instances of police brutality and the ongoing protests across the nation have both shaken us to our core and revealed opportunity – opportunity to do more, to do better, and to be more deliberate in our actions.

The High Council commits itself and its members, as well as all volunteers to ethical, professional, and lawful conduct, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum and behavior when acting on behalf of the Fraternity of Alpha Zeta.

The Alpha Zeta Code of Conduct clearly states that our members and volunteers will always conduct themselves in a manner that:

  • Is free from physical or verbal harassment or inappropriate or unprofessional behavior with regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, marital status, religion, medical condition, national origin, disability, or on account of protected category under federal, state, or local laws.
  • Demonstrates respect for individuals in all manifestations of their cultural and linguistic diversity and life circumstances.
  • Respects and gives fair consideration to diverse and opposing viewpoints.

We stand with any and all who share the goal of equality regardless of color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, or disability. We will strive to be more equitable and compassionate through our outreach to the communities we serve, mentorship of the next generation, and the continual goal to create diversity within our Fraternity.

We can do better. We will do better. We pledge to learn from one another and help bend the arc toward justice for all.

 

After the release of this statement, the High Council established a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to look at ways we can do better and learn from each other. We are working on the following; updating our Chapter Best Practices Manual with information on ways chapters can work to improve their diversity and inclusion efforts, establishing a Diversity & Inclusion Middaugh Award to recognize chapters who go above and beyond, reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities on starting Alpha Zeta chapters, and more. We are open to hear from you on how we can continue our efforts.

To help you and your chapter educate yourselves on diversity and inclusion in agriculture we have compiled the following resources. If you have anything you would like to add to the list, please reach out to any member of the High Council (contact information here).

 

 

Resources for Learning About Racism in Agriculture

TO READ

Books:

Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

Freedom Farmers by Monica White

Dispossession by Pete Daniel

Articles:

African Americans have lost untold acres of farmland over the last century

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

The Mississippi Delta's History of Black Land Theft

There were nearly a million black farmers in 1920. Why have they disappeared?

How Racism Has Shaped the American Farming Landscape

Food Justice: Combating Racism in the Agricultural System

The Real Story of Racism at the USDA

Food System Racial Equity Assessment Tool: A Facilitation Guide

TO LISTEN TO

Episode 5: The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1 - 1619 | Podcast

Episode 5: The Land of Our Fathers, Part 2 - 1619 | Podcast

Fighting for the Promised Land: A Story of Farming and Racism

Young Farmers Podcast: Farming While Black

‎The Millennial Ag Podcast: Episode 040 - Critical Conversations: Racism and Agriculture

TO WATCH

INFAS 2019 Webinar on Structural Racism in the Food System

NAFSN Best Practices in Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Equity Training in Food Systems Webinar

NAFSN Uprooting Racism in the Food System Webinar

NAFSN Building a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Food Systems Network Webinar

NAFSN Food Justice and Black Lives: Voices from the Movement Webinar

NAFSN Land Justice, Black Agrarianism and the Freedom Movement: Emerging Voices Webinar

ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT

National:

Black Church Food Security Network

Black Dirt Farm Collective

Black Urban Growers

Castanea Fellowship

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive

Family Agriculture Resource Management Services

Food Chain Workers Alliance

Food First

HEAL Food Alliance

National Black Farmers Association

National Black Food and Justice Alliance

Regional:

Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Cooperative of Pittsburgh

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund

Freedom School Demonstration Farm

Land Loss Prevention Project

Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

New Communities Land Trust

Sankofa Farms

Seeding Power Fellowship

Soil Generation

Soul Fire Farm

Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network