Dear Alchemist CDC Supporters,

We join our community in grappling with the sadness, anger, and trauma associated with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, countless others and with the ongoing violent racism so prevalent in our society. Let us be clear: Black Lives Matter. And we stand in solidarity with you.

At Alchemist, diversity and equity are and have always been fundamental values driving our mission and vision. Through our programming we strive to break down the barriers and inequities that prevent communities of color from accessing basic needs – fresh and nutritious food, public green spaces, and pathways to economic opportunity and entrepreneurship. As we work to address the impacts of hunger, health disparities, poverty, and climate change on our communities, we must explicitly acknowledge the history of oppression, racist policies, and blatant discrimination that underpins these huge and daunting issues; we cannot begin to treat the symptoms before we examine, and talk about, their roots.

Today, we recommit to our values of diversity and equity. We will face our own biases and more intentionally address how we live out our values in our programs, policies and practices. We will continue to learn, continue to listen, and continue to do better. Because we want to commit to actions, and not just values and ideas, our board and staff have started a list of specific commitments. Here are a few of the things we have in mind:

  • For the immediate term: Giving our staff a paid day off to respond to current events. This can be to learn, reflect participate in anti-racist activism, or to rest from the stress and trauma of current events.

  • Deepen our partnerships and collaborations with BIPOC-led organizations and community groups, including joint-fundraising efforts.

  • Improve our efforts to diversify our board of directors. We have three open seats and welcome new energy and perspectives. We also will continue to evaluate how we make our board environment an inclusive space.

  • Continue board and staff participation in Sacramento Food Policy Council, where we advocate for policies that create systemic change in the areas we work.

  • Increase our board and staff participation in the annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge each April. And continue to seek out more equity-focused professional development opportunities for our board and staff.
  • Continue the transition of our neighborhood development work from community engagement practices to community ownership, using tools like this model.
  • Reevaluate our organizational policies, practices, and messaging with the assumption they were not written with an equity lens, and address them accordingly.

  • Create more spaces for us to listen and receive feedback from the community. Stay tuned – our new executive director has some ideas in mind.

  • Continue researching, having conversations, and making budgeting decisions to expand this list, and create a standing agenda item in our monthly Board of Directors meetings to check in on this work and hold us accountable to progress.

We had planned to share exciting news with you this week – that after a long search we are welcoming our new Executive Director. But this conversation takes precedence. We look forward to sharing more about our leadership transition soon, and will ask you to join us in welcoming Sam Greenlee to our team. For now, please instead join us in committing to anti-racism, and working to make Sacramento truly a healthy, diverse, equitable, vibrant community.

In solidarity,
Alchemist CDC

“Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou