Black Lives Matter
We acknowledge that the Ashland Food Co-op has not had a culture where all employees and community members felt safe sharing their experiences of discrimination in our store. We apologize for this. We are on a learning journey. We have reached out for help, and are listening to our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) employees and owners who want to be part of the positive change we seek.
* * * * *
In choosing to make a public declaration that Black Lives Matter, we believe that it is critical that we be as clear as possible about what we intend in making this statement to our employees, our owners, our customers, and our community at large. We understand that it has the potential to be polarizing and interpreted according to the reader’s own experience of the world. So let us say what we, the Ashland Food Cooperative, mean:
What publicly stating that Black Lives Matter means to us is this:
It is vital that we as Americans and business owners recognize, acknowledge and address our society’s collective history of unjust and inhumane treatment of Black People many of whom are our own friends, neighbors and family members.
There is overwhelming evidence that systemic inequity continues to be deeply embedded in our society’s structures, practices, and beliefs.
It is critical that we bring attention, focus and energy to addressing all the ways this inequity gets expressed in our organization and in our business and community relationships, and then to address them in the best way we can. We will not tolerate discrimination of any kind, nor intimidation based on any type of discrimination.
As one of hundreds of food cooperatives in America that have joined together to offer healthy food in a way that benefits each of our local communities, we have committed to be a business that cares about far more than our bottom line. We want what is best for our employees, our owners, our customers and our community. To honor that commitment in this time when taking a stand is so important, we proudly declare Black Lives Matter.
We also wish to clarify what this statement is not:
It is not a political statement intended to serve a political purpose or support any particular organization.
It is not a statement that places greater value on one set of human lives over another.
It is not an attempt to claim moral superiority.
It is not a marketing ploy to attract like-minded patrons.
We are now establishing better communication systems to listen and respond to our employees. In collaboration with some of our BIPOC employees and recognizing that not all of us have the same lived experience, the board and leadership will implement policies that are responsive to what we are hearing. We are now taking steps to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all of our employees, owners, and community.
On behalf of the Ashland Food Coop Board of Directors and Management,
Ed Claassen, Board President
Julie O’Dwyer, Board Vice President
Emile Amarotico, General Manager
More Co-op News
January's Change for Good Partner is
local nonprofit Ashland Food Angels
December's Change for Good Partner is
Rogue Action Center
The Rogue Action Center (RAC) builds organizing infrastructure, leaders, and community power for a just, inclusive, and sustainable Southern Oregon for everyone.
November's Change for Good Partner is
October's Change for Good Partner is
AFC Gives Community Fund
September's Change for Good Partner is
Truth to Power
Truth to Power cultivates teen activism and community participation through social justice podcasts and transformative projects.
Ashland Food Co-op has been a staple in our community for 50 years and invites you to celebrate this anniversary with them on June 3rd, 2022 from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM, at the AFC employee parking lot for dancing, food, face painting and more!
Music by Eight Dollar Mountain and Wild and Blue.
Siano's Karibbean Cookhouse, Walkabout Brewing Co. and Rogue Kombucha will be joining us with delicious food and beverages available for purchase.
May's Change for Good Partner is
local nonprofit Rogue Valley Farm to School
The Ashland Food Co-op is excited to provide employees with a fun, professional workplace with potential for growth and advancement. We see every day as an opportunity to better our community, our planet, and ourselves! Eligible employees will receive a 15% employee discount on all store purchases, affordable healthcare, 3.5 weeks of paid time off in your first year for vacation and sick days, matching 401K plan after 1 year, productivity and profit sharing bonus opportunities, free organic produce every day... and so much more!
Our Community Food Co-op has joined, along with other co-ops across the nation, to donate to a Disaster Recovery Fund organized by National Co+op Grocers (NCG) Cooperation, Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and National Co-op Business Association of the United States (NCBA CLUSA) to Co-op Ukraine to support cooperatives impacted by the war in Ukraine.