The United Tastes of America
Statement of Support and Commitment to Black Lives Matter
The United Tastes of America has a mission, to increase cross-cultural understandings and unity. Over the past 4 years we have brought together thousands of people who were able to get to know each other a little better by breaking bread together.
Our work offers hope, fosters autonomy and affirms dignity. Through the pandemic we have been unable to gather. Moving forward, we are exploring new ways to continue to break down walls and build bridges of connection.
We have been working with resettled refugees, people who are restarting their lives in the USA, seeking peace and refuge. They had to leave their homelands, displaced by war and violence. Our African-American neighbors arrived here displaced from their homelands by force, stolen and brought here as slaves. To this day the inequities of slavery are bound in the systemic racism that violates the rights of nearly 4.5 million Americans.
For the past year we had been focussing very specifically on bringing our program into communities of color. We were very grateful to have received grant funding from Islamic Relief USA to enable us to do this. We held a series of 1619 events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in Jamestown, Virginia at Montclair State University and with HUUB in Orange NJ, bringing together African Americans, Arab Americans and resettled refugees creating a platform for a deeper understanding of the history and ongoing impacts of slavery in the USA.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garnder, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell, Rayshard Brooks, Emmet Till, and so many more, are the result of systemic racism in our country which promised to be the land of the free where every person is equal. Friday June 19th was Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. And yet, the legacy of slavery continues in the mass incarceration that is the American prison system.
We affirm that black lives matter.
We commit to working to dismantle systemic racism, recognize and remove implicit bias and be part of the change that is long overdue.
We encourage you to support these grassroots efforts in our own community to nourish and support black lives.
Green Acre Community Farm, Paterson NJ
Deacon Willie Davis grew up on his parents' sharecropper farm in North Carolina, but headed north at the age of 18. Now 67, he's happy to be sharecropping again --- in the heart of Paterson. Deacon Davis has cultivated a community garden that produced 1,500 pounds of vegetables for neighborhood families last year. And his goal is 2,500 pounds this year. “we strive to create a green oasis in the heart of Paterson where community members access fresh foods, connect with nature, and build community.”
L.A.M.P (Latin Americans for Medical Progress), South Jersey
Founder Guerline Macenat-Pierre is a first generation Haitian- American. “My roots, cultural identity, and decade long years working with diverse populations from all parts of Latin America, inspired me to start L.A.M.P. which provides support and resources to the most underserved populations. Campaign 2020 is raising emergency COVID-19 funds to support migrant farmworkers and their families residing temporarily in Southern New Jersey from late spring to late summer.