In September and October of 2021, the Food Security Subcommittee recommended that CAN adopt Equity Guidelines to facilitate engaging people with lived expertise in food insecurity. We used the WNC Food Justice Planning Initiative draft guidelines as our model. The guidelines cover four areas.

  1. We want better representation of the diversity in Henderson County

We hope to work toward more diverse representation by doing these things:

  • Recruiting community champions

  • Determining which areas of Henderson County are most affected by food and activity insecurity

  • Hosting Racial Equity Institutes specific to nutrition and activity context

  • Creating an equity vibe, culture, and celebration

Our Progress

Creating a welcoming vibe

In October 2021, we hosted community conversations with CAN members about how to create an inclusive vibe in CAN. We organized these conversations around The Centre for Community Change's Dismantling White Supremacy Organizational Culture and used these videos as prompts for our conversations. Click on the images below to check them out.

2. We will provide supports so that all people can participate and are valued

Create welcoming meetings by

  • Providing financial compensation for participation from people with lived expertise

  • Building trust from the community for their involvement in this work

  • Accountability and conflict transformation processes, including point people in place for when micro-aggressions and harm occur

  • Facilitate the ability for any attendee/organization to request a need and members determine if there is a known resource

Make meetings accessible by

  • Considering different scheduling during different times of the year.

  • Negotiating about meeting times

  • Keep meetings as short as feasible and stick to breaks during long meetings. Be sure to facilitate effectively so that meetings end on time.

  • Offer reimbursement for transportation and childcare

  • Offer on-site childcare, kid-friendly meeting space, and virtual attendance options for caregivers

  • Offer healthy meals or snacks at in-person meetings to ensure food is not a barrier to attendance

  • Hosting meetings in the community or joining existing meetings.

Make virtual meetings accessible by

  • Providing technical support for participants attending meetings virtually

  • Ensuring access for those without broadband access, including technical solutions, arrangements for in-person attendance, or collective virtual attendance at a central location nearby with broadband connection.

Our Progress

Adopting an accountability process

CAN adopted the "Ouch, Oops, Whoa" accountability process to create shared responsibility in our meetings. Any member at any time can say or ask for support in saying that some harm has occurred, "Ouch". They unintentionally did something that might have been harmful "Oops" or "Whoa" to stop the meeting and process something happening that they don't feel good about.

3. We will ensure our communications reach and are accessible to the diverse populations of Henderson County

Ensure that the language used is accessible to all, - including those with literacy issues, disabilities, etc.

Use formats that reach diverse groups: Email, Whatsapp, Facebook groups.

Be a CAN ambassador: When attending other organizational or community meetings, including information about CAN’s efforts, volunteer to present about the CAN at other meetings, and gather feedback.

Real-time/simultaneous interpretation services and translation services for materials.

4. We will have shared decision-making power

We will have a transparent, participatory budgeting process that engages everyone who participates in CAN and people who are affected by our budgeting decisions. We will revisit our current hierarchical structures core team (steering committee) and subcommittees. The core team, if we keep a core team structure, will coordinate and understand decisions made across groups. We will use 2 processes for decisions: advice and consent. Advice process is where we commit to always to talk someone who knows about the thing we are deciding about and someone who is affected by our decision. Our consent process is fist-to-five.