KK&P is working to proactively advance our commitment to reducing bias and injustice across agriculture, food, and health systems. In June 2020, we posted a commitment on our web site which emphasized the imperatives of increasing our awareness, clarifying and improving our approaches to our work, providing more support to BIPOC businesses and organizations, and cultivating strong partnerships to work for food justice—and we are holding ourselves accountable to those commitments.
Last summer, we launched a shared learning process to continue to build awareness of our inherent biases and privilege through readings, exercises, reflections, and discussions. This learning process has enriched our understanding of our own privilege and power—both as individuals and as a company—as well as the ways that racism and other bias-based inequities impact the food system, and has led to additional learning commitments and continued work.
KK&P intends to leverage its privilege (of our networks and access, e.g.) throughout our work, to partner with our clients in more strongly and intentionally building equity and justice, and with the understanding that food systems are only as healthy and resilient as their most vulnerable and disenfranchised individuals and communities.
To that end, and in alignment with our commitments, we want to share what we have done, what we are doing now, and what we plan to do next:
- As a staff, we read and discussed How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- We completed a portion of Food Solutions New England’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge, and intend to return to that work in 2022
- Most significantly, we have engaged LaDonna Sanders Redmond as a partner and consultant in guiding our racial equity and implicit bias learning and training. LaDonna has led us through intercultural competency assessments, additional readings, and facilitated group discussions.
- Throughout our work over the past year, we have strived to be more thoughtful and reflective in how each of our projects intersects with issues of racial inequity, and how our approaches to those projects can help support and center marginalized communities.
- As part of our work with LaDonna, we are working to codify our methods for engaging, including, and supporting people of color and other marginalized communities in all of our projects. We are conducting an internal audit of our methods across the life cycle of every project, from framing questions and research approaches to community engagement and development of proposed solutions. The outcome of this work will guide how KK&P builds more racial equity actions and impacts into every project.
- We will create a clear public-facing statement of our values and commitment to equity and inclusion, which we will share with all of our clients.
- Throughout our history, KK&P has provided charitable donations to community-based and food justice organizations. We have increased our financial support to a greater number of BIPOC-led organizations, both from the company and as a match to KK&P staff individual donations. Organizations that have received support from KK&P and its employees include:
- After completing our internal work (as described above), we will explore new partnerships and research and consulting models to offer more direct, meaningful, and accessible support to BIPOC organizations and/or businesses.
- We are enthusiastic about building racial equity priorities into our work and doing so with greater impact by way of collaborative partnerships. We have accelerated how we identify and contract partners, focusing on individuals and small firms with deep professional and lived experience and perspective so that we can do better work.
Our intensive work with LaDonna, which began in August of this year and will extend into early 2022, operates on many levels, from the individual to the organizational, and includes both internal and external processes. It also intersects with virtually all aspects of our work, and all elements of last year’s racial equity commitment.
We expect that this work will provide a strong foundation for growing our commitments and will help us look ahead to how our work can deliver greater impact in the communities where we work.