For the past several years, Wallace Center has held biweekly Racial Equity Coffee Chats. These informal meetings are led by different staff members on a rotating, volunteer basis and have covered a range of topics related to racial equity. These informal but structured conversations are intended to create a conversational space for sharing personal experiences and expanding our collective understanding of how systemic racism has shaped our agriculture and food systems, and how anti-racist action is critical to the changes we seek.
As part of this process, we’ve developed a loose facilitation structure to guide the conversation. This structure means that anyone can easily step up to lead these conversations, without a significant amount of planning or pre-work. We’ve outlined that structure here and provided a list of topics and resources that we’ve discussed. We are not experts, but we have found this to be a very helpful tool and process for our own learning and engagement. We hope that this guide can be a useful tool for you and your colleagues as you educate yourselves and center anti-racism and racial equity in your programs, operations, and internal culture.