“They are afraid that addressing racism is just too hard, too complicated, and too messy. They’re afraid that bringing up the issues of oppression and privilege will end up dividing the movement rather than strengthening it. They are afraid of being overwhelmed with more work. They’re afraid. They are also mistaken…we need to dismantle racism in our society, our food system and in our own food movements. Dismantling racism isn’t extra work. It is the work.”
- Eric Holt-Jimenez, “Leaders of Color Discuss Structural Racism and White Privilege in the Food System” (2016)    

Canada prides itself on embracing multiculturalism, and enjoys an international reputation for its peaceful celebration of diversity and inclusion. While multiculturalism is core to our national identity, talking about the realities of social difference and inequality brings many Canadians into uncomfortable terrain. In the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action, and broad social and political movements like Black Lives Matter, many who recognize the importance of these issues still struggle to engage with them. 

This session offers tools for understanding the centrality of racial inequity in the food system, as well as concrete local examples of planning for a more equitable food future. CRFAIR is committed to holding space for these provocative and unsettling conversations and considers this session an early step on a long journey together. 

What's race got to do with it?: Necessary conversations for a just and equitable food future 

Presenter Bio: Stephanie Lim

Stephanie Lim is a community developer, feminist scholar, and food justice organizer. She coordinated the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (2008-2015), co-founded the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network Working Group (est. 2010), and co-founded the Vancouver Food Policy Council's Food Justice Working Group (est. 2015). She works with government and non-government organizations around issues of social difference and food systems; this work connects grassroots organizing, higher education, and public policy worlds. The first member of her family to be born in Canada, Stephanie grew up in a diverse (largely immigrant) Toronto community. As a child of mixed Filipinx-Chinese descent living in diaspora, her early experiences inspired an interest in food and cultural continuity, raising questions about identity and inequality that are the foundation of her work today.