"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck."
Speech at the Civil Rights Mass Meeting (1883)
In the midst of a global pandemic, many cities across our nation are filled with protests and many of our hearts are blazing with the witness and/or experience of inequitable systems designed to rank human value.
And there are a lot of inequitable systems in our country. Some, like the inequitable policing of black and brown people are becoming obvious due to cellphone footage, and some are slow and insidious like the gradual dispossession of black farmers from their land.
These systems diminish all participants because no human life is more valuable or worthy than another, and the systemized racial oppression in our country is not just diminishing the whole, it is destroying the lives of black, brown, and indigenous people.
We are not given the choice to not participate in these systems, because we are born into them. But as Dr. Maya Angelou taught us, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Divesting from inequitable systems takes constant, intentional practice; and, it takes allies. We cannot do this work alone. We practice divesting from inequitable systems by farming together: everyone is welcome at the farm and every effort is valued. We build partnerships with community based organizations. But like planting an orchard, it can be a long time before we see any fruit from our work and we must monitor and prune our thoughts and deeds so that we bear good fruit too.
At Firstfruits Farm SLO, we renounce the ranking of human value. We grow the best, highest quality food specifically for those of us who have been barred from accessing it and we freely give it away without prejudice, judgment, or reservation.
A Reading of the Law
Blessed are those who know their own spiritual poverty, who mourn over it, who are teachable concerning it, who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
adapted from Matthew 5
Our Confession of Sin
We confess our spiritual poverty, we grieve over it, and we repent with open hearts. We ask forgiveness for our stubborn ignorance and our participation in oppressive systems, both known and unknown to us.
We commit to talking less and listening more to those whose voices have been denied. We commit to actively loving our neighbors. We commit to act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God.