Co-op Blog

Black Lives Matter: Our Commitment to Racial Equity & Justice

To Our Co-op Community,

Let us be clear: we believe Black Lives Matter. The Skagit Valley Food Co-op stands in solidarity with Black communities everywhere. We are enraged and disheartened by the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing injustice and violence against Black, Indigenous, People of Color in our country. George Floyd’s death has opened our eyes to truly examine why this is still happening, when we know it shouldn’t be. It’s also given us the opportunity in recent weeks to listen, learn, and evaluate the ways we can do better. And let us be clear about this too: we can do better. We absolutely must—as individuals, as a community, and as an organization.

We’re here to get started.

It’s our responsibility to affect change, and as a community-owned business, we know we are more powerful when we work together. The Co-op community has always been one that understands the value of voting with our dollars to support what’s important to us—strengthening our local economy and each other with our purchases. And giving back to the community is baked into our cooperative principles. With that, we want to make it easier to support BIPOC communities in Skagit Valley and around the country simply by shopping at the Co-op.

Together, we’ll be donating 1% of sales from June 15th through June 30th to the Black Lives Matter Global Fund. To double your shopping impact, we’ve partnered with the Skagit Community Foundation, who will be matching our donation dollar-for-dollar to reinvest locally by donating to Northwest Justice Project’s Race Equity & Justice Initiative in Skagit County.

  • Black Lives Matter works to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.
  • Northwest Justice Project serves People of Color right here in Skagit County by providing legal support to our immigrant, indigenous, and Latino communities on a large variety of cases, with a significant focus on housing, employment, and family law.

Beyond donations, the Co-op is committed to increasing its anti-racism efforts through staff training, zero-tolerance discrimination and harassment policies, and other internal practices. We will continue to reevaluate the ways we operate and engage with our community. The Human Resources Department has been working to reschedule a series of Diversity & Inclusion trainings that were cancelled due to COVID-19; we hope to resume in late summer or early fall when restrictions on group sizes allow us to do so. We’re also sharing anti-racist resources with staff and have created a list of BIPOC-owned brands and organizations if you want to take your support even further. You can find the list here; positive reviews, social media follows, and purchases are all great ways to stand with these companies if you are able.

We know we don’t have all of the answers and that we have more work to do to combat racism, but we are open to learning and growing—open to finding respectful ways to hold each other accountable as a group when we don’t get it right. We are hopeful we can come together to create a just, equitable society where everyone feels welcome, love always wins, and Black Lives Matter. We encourage you to join us as we dig deep to be a part of the solution.

 

In Solidarity,

Skagit Valley Food Co-op Team

 

 

 

 

Original photo by Mike Von via unsplash.

By: Co-op Staff

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