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Field Reports

Let’s Talk About Race in the Anti-Hunger Workplace

Sofia Charlot, Emerson Fellow

Maryland Hunger Solutions,
Published 2021-2022

Baltimore, Maryland

This research was a strategic effort to look at the current state, successes, failures, and possible improvements to the movement to end hunger in the United States. Anti-hunger organizations reacted to parallel social justice movements with heightened energy, resources, and attention to the root causes of domestic hunger and racial equity. Research efforts uncovered whether organizational plans and policies could create transactional or transformational change. Using survey data collection and semi-structured interviews, this study interrogated the plans, policies, and strategies of organizational approaches to addressing race in the workplace. It also captured how anti-hunger staff and leadership fueled, experienced, and perceived those efforts. Organizations that employed traditional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) frameworks created surface-level changes that upheld racialized power dynamics in the workplace. Organizational approaches that explicitly centered anti-racism and/or prioritized naming and addressing racialized power dynamics within their operations—at all levels, with all members, and with the necessary resources—were working towards transformational change. The anti-hunger movement has a stated goal of ending systemic hunger by addressing its root causes. Racialized power dynamics in domestic food systems created and sustained widespread hunger and racially disparate outcomes in food security. Anti-hunger organizations must consider how their internal operations either uphold or oppose the racialized power dynamics of white supremacy and make substantial efforts towards transforming their institutions into vehicles that push society towards a racially equitable future.

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Publication tags: Field Reports - Income, Expenses, and Hunger, Racial Equity

Charlot headshot

Sofia Charlot

Emerson Fellow


Maryland Hunger Solutions

Baltimore, Maryland