Shakirah Simley of Bi-Rite Market speaks at the Good Food Awards.

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Photo: Philip Clark

“So, today, at this moment of foreboding uncertainty and anticipated struggle, I want to remind our food community of two things, what makes us good at what we do and what can make us better. Being good means the artful transformation of raw, wild or endangered ingredients into rows of jewel colored jars that celebrate the awe-inspiring regional diversity of this great nation. Being better means dismantling a highly stratified farming system and honoring the true origins of our American food-ways, many that spring from southern plantations and western reservations. Being good means solid employment opportunities and intentional hiring practices for far more inclusive fields, factories, kitchens, and store floors. Being better means shifting power to enable real agency and ownership within the food industry towards immigrants, women, people of color, and queer communities. Being good means organizing within the local food movement and voting with our forks. Being better means coalition building for social justice where food people and food spaces can be included within our relentless resistance.” – Shakirah Simley