Leveraging Resources to Address Issues of Food Justice and Environmental Racism

Repair the World Colorado is proud to partner with local organization Ekar Farm. 

Ekar Farm has moved from its original charity-based model of providing fresh food and veggies to food pantries, to a food and environmental justice model of repair that includes reparations, as well as creating systems-level change. To really do this, we need to become community-led (rather than merely community informed) in all aspects of our work. We’re actively engaged in staff and board DEI work to create paid positions across the organization for BIPOC leadership. We have collaborations with Native groups like Spirit of the Sun, where we share growing space for traditional Native crops, and when we need to aggregate or purchase more produce to fulfill CSA shares, we partner with the BIPOC-led East Denver Food Hub, and of course we donate food to food access organizations that serve food insecure communities — but in 2022, we’re doing more: we’re learning how to make structural changes across Ekar’s operation to center BIPOC leadership.

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic that increased food insecurity overall — 1 in 3 Denver families is now food insecure — but COVID has impacted the BIPOC community far more than it has impacted the Jewish community. And we’re also at the beginning of a massive climate crisis. We know that our neighbors and friends in BIPOC communities are already suffering more from Colorado’s poor air quality — in fact the state’s largest polluter, Suncor, is located in a historic BIPOC area. The Jewish community has a role to play in standing in solidarity with all such impacted communities. Our resources must be leveraged so that together, we can address these related issues of food justice and environmental racism. As Jews, we too have a history of trauma, and genocide; we are instructed throughout Torah to remember that we know servitude, and inequity. To be Jewish today is to work for justice for everyone – this is Ekar – the most important thing. Reb Zalman z’l says it best:  “The only way we’re going to get it together, is together.”

Donations to support Ekar’s work can be made here!

By Sue Salinger Executive Director Ekar Farms

Image of Ekar Farms

About the Series

This #BlackHistoryMonth Repair the World is highlighting Black-led orgs, service partners who are advancing and centering Diversity Equity and Inclusion work and prioritizing BIPOC leadership in their orgs, and Black Community Leaders that we serve with across our communities. Our impact would not be possible without them. Our Jewish values of solidarity, achdoot, and strengthening each other, hitchazkut, remind us that nothing is possible without meaningful relationships. Our partners and colleagues are critical to our ability to understand and act thoughtfully. When we lift up, celebrate, and appreciate others, we ultimately work towards a stronger outcome.