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Racial Equity Knowledge Center

Raising awareness about funding for racial equity efforts.

Racial Equity Tools for Food Systems Planning

by Lexa Dundore

Apr 3, 2017

The legacies of racist land-based policies are built into the urban and exurban landscapes of the United States. The area of food systems planning provides a special opportunity within planning practice to recognize these histories and work to ameliorate contemporary inequities. Racial equity assessment tools offer one strategy for prioritizing principles of racial equity into food systems planning processes. The Food System Racial Equity Assessment tool and process is one such strategy for considering how people, place, process, and power are interrelated in a particular plan, policy, or proposal. Pilot sessions with local food-centered organizations informed the development of this tool and provided valuable insight into its relevance in planning practice. By using food system-specific racial equity tools, planners can normalize conversations about racial difference, ask critical questions about who is or is not served by plans, and prioritizes deliberate consideration of who is involved in visioning, framing, and proposing solutions to planning problems.