The Emerson Program incorporates an anti-racist approach to all aspects of our work. What began with an effort to have more racially and economically diverse classes of fellows has evolved over the years into what is now a strong programmatic commitment to anti-racism. This commitment is also the foundation for our current work to establish a broader anti-oppression framework that integrates classism and other forms of oppression, such as sexism and homophobia.
Anti-racism is “the practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating, and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices, and behaviors that perpetuate racism” (Multicultural Advisory Council for British Columbia, 2004).
The Emerson Program addresses the root causes of hunger and poverty, including oppression in all forms. Oppression and inequality are part of our society and must be eliminated to create a just, hunger and poverty-free country. Therefore, cultivating an understanding of both the history and current manifestations of racial oppression is critical for Emerson Hunger Fellows to be effective in their field and policy placements.
A recent program evaluation measured program connections between hunger, poverty, and racism and found that: