A June Letter from the Editor
I usually write you an editor’s note at the beginning of the month to chat about what I’m thinking, how I’m eating, and what we’re planning for you in the coming month. But not this month. As we enter June, usually the month we celebrate freedom from school and the indoors, our team is grieving and angry over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade. I watched the protests in my own town of Columbus this past week, as peaceful protestors and friends were attacked and tear-gassed. It’s all we can think about and talk about today. Maybe you too?
Our mission here has always been to help people live happy, healthy lives at the table and at home. Without justice and safety in our communities a happy life is not possible; my city just declared racism a public health crisis. If you’re here I know that you love food and its place in our homes, the act of setting the table in generosity. We all want happy, healthy lives, and homes that welcome others. Regardless of how and why you come to Kitchn, you need to know where we stand on the most fundamental question of community right now in our society. And we stand with Black Lives Matter.
Those of you who have read my letters in the past and know me personally know that my faith matters to me deeply, and my faith teaches that systemic injustice and racism are real and present dangers. Creating a better future, for me, means active anti-racism and standing with a movement that is a powerful and necessary piece of the ongoing struggle against the structures of racism baked into nearly every aspect of our civic and economic lives.
We also owe you, our audience, a commitment to close gaps between our personal desires for justice, and how they are reflected (or not) in our organization and work. As a mostly white team we are especially committed to hiring more BIPOC voices and making sure our content is shaped from the ground up by many points of view. But the itch of confession and defensiveness in any of us is part of the problem. Our craving to feel like we’re “good” is not what matters ever, but especially now when our nation is convulsed by pain and sorrow.
What We’re Doing Right Now
What matters is actual change, justice, and equity. So here’s a list of some of the things we’re taking as immediate action steps.
- As a company we are making a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.
- After this post we plan to continue our pause of social media and also pause any unrelated content publication for 24 hours.
- We are continuing critical conversations about how to diversify our teams and content, as well providing support for our BIPOC employees. We would love to share more on that soon.
- We are committing to donate ad inventory across our two sites to Black-owned businesses. More on this soon!
What We’re Reading and Who We’re Following
As an editorial team, we also talked about how we are all processing and responding and reading, and we want to share with you some resources and leadership from BIPOC, people that we look up to and follow ourselves. Here are leaders, voices, and resources I and our team have found useful over the years but especially right now in understanding, grappling with, and combating systemic injustice in our country.
Personally, these are resources that have changed me and my viewpoint in some way.
- An immediate first read: I really appreciated the language of “accomplices” in Taharee Jackson’s A Practical Guide for White Allies and Accomplices.
- All pieces of The 1619 Project are stunning works of journalism but the audio series was for me at least the “red pill” author Nikole Hannah-Jones hoped it would be.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful, meticulous piece on redlining and the way housing discrimination has had generations of impact is a must-read.
- For anyone like me whose mother culture was white evangelicalism, Walter Wink’s work on power structures is incredibly helpful foundational reading. I also recently listened to this podcast with theologian Xavier Pickett that lays out American church history so helpfully.
- There are many voices and food journalists on Instagram on beyond that we collectively as a team listen to on race, food, and their intersection: Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Samin Nosrat, Ijeoma Oluo, Aja Barber, Korsha Wilson, Osayi Endolyn, Stephen Satterfield, Yewande Komolafe, Klancy Miller, and Hali Bey Ramdene. Also Black Food Folks, a coalition and fellowship of Black professionals in food and drink.
Donate & Support
Resources & Further Reading
- The Obama Foundation’s resources on creating a more just and equitable world
- A comprehensive Google doc on anti-racism resources
- How to Make This Moment the Turning Point for Real Change, Barack Obama, Medium
- The American Nightmare, Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic
- Don’t Understand the Protests? What You’re Seeing Is People Pushed to the Edge, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, LA Times
- Being Anti-Racist, National Museum of African American History & Culture
- “I Nearly Went to Prison for Philando Castile. I Closed My Restaurant for George Floyd,” Louis Hunter, Bon Appétit