We Are Listening: Fighting Racism In and Out of the Garden

June 30, 2020

Recently, you’ve probably been inundated with emails and messages about fighting racism. That’s a good thing! And you’re likely trying to figure out what to do to stop the next targeted killing of a black person.  How can we help dismantle the system that has led us to today, a system which targets and dehumanizes people of color? We need to listen and learn how to be good allies in this fight against racism. We have to stand together, white, black, brown, native and immigrant, to change things.

CGT needs to do better and more in this struggle…

CGT is committed to inclusiveness, yet most of our gardeners are white, in a town with a long history of agriculture by Native, Black, Asian and Hispanic people adding to recent histories of refugees and immigrants growing their native crops here. We acknowledge that the makeup of CGT does not accurately represent the makeup of our diverse community and that we need to work harder to bring people of color into our gardens and to listen to what their needs and struggles are. Our goal is to make our gardens welcoming to all.

We  must educate ourselves and speak in solidarity with indigenous people. We will strive to ensure that food insecurity is not seen in Tucson while our gardens are lush. We recognize that racism and colonialism have influenced what we eat and even who eats. We will strive to help people in the communities around our gardens who need food to have access to our gardens to stay strong against the Corona virus. And we should expand our reach to new gardeners, to help and learn from others, accepting our own present lack of awareness of other ways of gardening and being open to change.

Individually, we need to recognize that racism doesn’t live just in crowded streets of big cities. It lives everywhere, and that means we need to pay attention even in the garden.  We need to make sure our gardens are free of discrimination, subtle or otherwise.  We are committed to learning from our mistakes and changing.

What we do and how we do it in all parts of our lives has a political aspect. We garden organically to protect the environment. We mulch to save water in the desert. Now we need to add thinking about racism and what to do to  overcome it and add action against racism into our daily experience in and out of the garden.

And do it together.

We encourage you to show support and donate to one or more of the Tucson groups listed here, who are fighting racism in various ways and could use your help:

Black Lives Matter Tucson- https://www.facebook.com/ALLblacklives/

Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund-https://watchtucson.com

Refuge Resource Center- https://www.rrcaz.org

Flowers and Bullets-https://www.flowersandbullets.com

Tucson Reparations- https://www.facebook.com/tucsonreparations

Tierra y Libertad: Regeneracion  https://www.facebook.com/BarrioSustainability/

Tohono O’odham Community Action https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/TOCA-  Tohono-Oodham-Community-Action-137202393001616/

Protection Action Network Fund https://pronetaction.wordpress.com/who-we-are-2/

Sustainable Nations http://sustainablenations.org/

International Rescue Committee (IRC)- https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-tucson-az

Sincerely,

The Board of Directors of Community Gardens of Tucson

Community Gardens of Tucson

5049 E Broadway, Suite 300
Tucson, AZ 85711
520-795-8823
admin@communitygardensoftucson.org

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CGT recognizes the historical injustices perpetrated upon the Indigenous people of the Tucson Basin. We honor and celebrate the cultures and contributions of those whose land we now garden on.

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