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Our Commitment to improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice
in the U.S. agriculture system

I.

As a coalition dedicated to advancing regenerative agriculture in the United States, Regenerate America™ recognizes that the principles upon which this movement is based are deeply rooted in the agricultural and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities, and that we cannot achieve our goals of regenerated soils, economies, communities, and health without examining and actively working to overcome the historical and current injustices and inequality in America’s food and farming systems. 

We acknowledge that forms of regenerative agriculture have been practiced by Indigenous people across the globe for millenia, and that Indigenous producers continue to steward the land today; that colonization and the genocide of Indigenous peoples historically displaced them from the lands they stewarded and continues to be a barrier to restoring Indigenous food ways; and that the Indigenous roots of regenerative agriculture must not only be honored, but the regenerative movement must center the needs of today’s Indigneous producers within its work, along with all farmers of color. 

We acknowledge that the economic foundations of American agriculture are based in slavery, and that discriminatory practices in federal agricultural programs and racially-based restrictive land ownership have created an inequitable agricultural system that persists today. This is evidenced by USDA records that fewer than 5% of all agriculture producers in the U.S identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC)—compared to about 40% of the U.S. population identifying with a race or ethnic group other than white.  

Finally, we acknowledge that many communities across the country struggle to access food due to structural policy decisions rooted in racisim and discrimination, and that foods rich in nutrients or grown regeneratively are still primarily reserved for those with means and access.

II.

We envision a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just regenerative food and farming system. The Regenerate America™ coalition recognizes the hard work needed to achieve this, and commits to a continual learning and activation process to uphold the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ). 

The Regenerate America™ coalition has identified the following goals and actions to help center Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice within our work. 

  • Continuing to learn from and amplify the work and experiences of BIPOC and historically underserved communities
  • Diversity in leadership: 
    • At least 30% of the Farmer Leadership Council will be comprised of BIPOC producers 
    • At least 30% of the Steering Committee will be comprised of representatives of underserved communities 
  • Reflecting the diversity of the experiences of agricultural communities through our storytelling and media and uplifting those narratives
  • Working closely with farming organizations that represent underserved communities to inform the development of the campaign strategy:  
    • Justice-focused policy recommendations from a broad spectrum of coalition members and other partner organizations with explicit commitments to racial equity were incorporated into our policy platform, most explicitly in the following two (of six) priorities: Priority 2 –  Equitable Opportunity & Access to All USDA Programs; and Priority 5 – Farmland Preservation and Access for BIPOC, Women, and Beginning Farmers
    • Within the policy platform, the RA coalition will continue to consider equity in policy recommendations, assess for their impact on historically underserved communities, and include policy recommendations that support these farmers and communities

Regenerate America™ commits to the above goals and actions, and to continuing to take a strong stance in supporting efforts to rectify generations of discrimination and provide greater opportunities for historically disadvantaged producers and the organizations that support them. A DEIJ committee will ensure accountability for this continued work through an annual review process, and coalition leadership commits to being adaptive and responsive to feedback and evaluation of this strategy to ensure we are contributing to the creation of a just agriculture and food system that uplifts all. 

III.

In 2022, the Regenerate America™ coalition has done the following to center DEIJ within our work: 

  • Committed to diversity in the leadership of this campaign, including five BIPOC farmers on the Farmer Leadership Council (31%) 
  • Provided registration and travel scholarships to 6 farmers for the Latino Farmer & Rancher Congresso 
  • Hired the HEAL Food Alliance to present a webinar on their policy platform, centered on racial justice in the American food and agriculture system
  • Collaborated with  9 BIPOC-led or BIPOC-focused organizations to support their work
  • Began filming the first Farmer Series video, featuring a BIPOC farmer 
  • Featured 11 posts on social media highlighting the work of BIPOC-focused organizations and farmers 
  • Advocated and lobbied for policy changes to improve support for historically underserved agricultural communities via public comments to the USDA and the Regenerate America™ policy platform

We  recognize there is much work to be done as individuals, as organizations, and as a coalition, and we look forward to doing more in 2023. 

Please reach out with any questions, comments, or suggestions of how we can do better to [email protected]. We welcome all feedback.