ASNNA Statement on Racial Equity
Systemic racism unfairly advantages one group while unfairly disadvantaging other groups. In the U.S., this systemic racism has resulted in both unjust food systems and unjust economic systems. ASNNA believes healthy food access is a right, not a privilege. And while all people no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, class, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability or age hold this right, we acknowledge that intentional systems are designed to deprive communities of color and limited-resource communities of equitable access to affordable and healthy food.
ASNNA acknowledges that the flourishing of our communities is a result of positive and adverse experiences, both of which shape resilience. Adversities include childhood, community, historical, and systemic trauma, as well as pervasive toxic stress. Systemic racism and historical trauma are of particular concern, especially among our SNAP-Ed participants, and resilience in the face of these devastating realities is the responsibility of the entire community – including providers and government agencies. Through SNAP-Ed, we have several opportunities to heal past racial trauma and prevent future trauma. First, SNAP-Ed must use direct education to provide positive and meaningful experiences around food and nutritional health. Programs must celebrate racial and ethnic foodways and support development of more meaningful relationships with food that encompass not only nutrition, but also social and cultural factors that research links to healing and repair of historical trauma. Further, SNAP-Ed must leverage research around trauma-informed care to bring healing through nutrition and physical activity interventions designed to both build nutritional health and manage stress. In addition to working with individuals, SNAP-Ed must support racially and socially just policy, systems, and environmental change activities that dismantle racism systems and advance equity through collaboration with funded and non-funded partners working across SNAP-Ed settings. ASNNA looks to organize and create opportunities for learning, while sharing and exploring information about race, health, and social equity to carry out SNAP-Ed-funded work to advance health equity.
To advance equity, ASNNA is taking the following steps:
- Coordinated “The Role of Racial Equity in SNAP-Ed Part 2: Authentic Resident Engagement” as a Model to Advance Equity in partnership with the SNAP-Ed Toolkit
- Coordinated “The Role of Racial Equity in SNAP-Ed Part 3: What does equity look like within an organization? Advancing equity through recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion” in partnership with the SNAP-Ed Toolkit
- Coordinated “The Role of Racial Equity in SNAP-Ed Part 4: Equity Considerations for Conducting Needs Assessments” in partnership with the SNAP-Ed Toolkit
- Facilitated three community of practice sessions
- Coordinated the Special Presentation – Nutrition Security with Dr. Sara Bleich webinar
- Established the RHSE Clearinghouse- which includes 41 equity resources for SNAP-Ed programs related to community engagement, equitable evaluation, land acknowledgment, training, reports, and frameworks which are housed on the updated ASNNA website.
- Drafted a letter to USDA requesting a revised Civil Rights training
- Submitted comments to USDA in collaboration with other ASNNA committees regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education and Obesity Prevention Grant (SNAP-Ed) National Program Evaluation and Reporting System (N-PEARS)
- Submitted comments to USDA regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Revision of Civil Right Data Collection Methods