Fall Forum CANCELED
The Coordinating Team of the Whatcom Food Network has recognized in recent weeks that, as a network, we are unable to offer the Fall Forum as a safe and comfortable platform to have difficult conversations.
We now understand this truth: we have work to do in order to center equity, one of the values of the Whatcom Food Network.
In order to effectively focus on the work we need to do to reform the Network in better alignment with the values and goals, we have decided to cancel the Fall Forum scheduled for later this week.
This decision was made by the WFN Coordinating Team with the following in mind:
- The seven core values of the WFN are: equity, health, sustainability, collaboration and participation, social justice, environmental stewardship, thriving economy;
- The Fall Form was designed to uplift the voices of BIPOC community members who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic;
- We have received feedback that some don’t feel comfortable participating because of the way the WFN is currently structured;
- Taking the time to listen and understand – and not jump to action – is part of our learning process;
- If we are going to realize the potential of the food system we envision and the values we stand on, we must turn toward the actions that will get us there, starting with measurable changes to the internal structure and decision-making process;
- We want to invite active participation from all members of the network in determining next steps.
As a Steering Committee, we are devoting our upcoming internal meetings to our current structure and decision-making policies. We invite members and member organizations to offer input as we grow and stretch to do better at putting equity in the center of what we do.
The real capacity of the Network is what each of us are willing to do, and how committed we are to our collective impact. We also understand that right now many are strained and threatened by not only the devastating pandemic but also the current political climate. It will take time, and many hands, perspectives, and experiences to rebuild a strategic vision and Network activities that embody our food system values and goals.
If you feel called to this effort, we ask you to step forward and support the work, and consider joining the Steering Committee.
We hope you will each understand our decision to cancel this week’s forum in order to prioritize this process. Although we will miss gathering with you – even on Zoom! – we believe these are imperative steps for the network to take in order to rebuild a strategic long-term vision that serves us all.
Thank you for your time and for sticking with us.
Coordinating Team – Ali, Elma, Laura, Mardi, and Rhys
You can contact us at email@example.com to get involved.
2020 Online Meet-Ups
Join us to connect with other food systems organizations, hear updates from your peers, and catalyze our collaborative capacity.
In lieu of in-person forums, we are excited to announce online meet-ups where we will connect in solidarity across the food system to have critical conversations to address food system gaps that have emerged during the pandemic. These events are designed to respond to the current crisis and bring us together to help make our local food system stronger.
The first online meeting-up was May 13 – see below for notes from the meeting. Subscribe to our newsletter and the WFN Listserv to receive announcements about future online meet-ups being planned now.
MAY 13 Online Meet-Up Notes
2019 Fall Forum Report: Food Processing in Our Region: History, Trends, and Upcoming Innovations
2019 Spring Forum Report: Eating for the Future: Having Our Local Food & Eating it Too!
2018 Fall Forum Report: The People That Make The Food System Work Or Watch the Videos
2018 Spring Forum Report: Whatcom’s Fishing Sector & Labor and Innovation in our Fisheries
2017 Fall Forum Report: The State of Farmland in Whatcom County & the 2017 Community Food Assesment
2017 Spring Forum Report: The Whatcom County Dairy Industry & Food System Planning
2016 Fall Forum Report: Values-Based Purchasing & Toward Zero Food Waste
2016 Spring Forum Report: Food Policy Councils & Whatcom Farm to School
2015 Fall Forum Report: Benefits, Successes & Challenges of Organizing Food Systems and Food Policy & Incorporating the King County Food Initiative