Skip to main content

Seed Saving Blog

Our Statement on Human Rights

June 12, 2020 | Janis Norton

The Great American Seed Up was solely created for the purposes of hosting a unique seed education & bulk purchasing event and to promote seed resiliency in our community. At this time, several recent events are highlighting very serious Human Rights concerns, bringing them to the forefront of national conversations and rightly keeping them there. As a team, we are heartbroken and devastated by what is happening in our country.

Individually we strive to be respectful, inclusive, and fair in all areas of our lives. Our separate businesses and nonprofits are focused on making a positive difference in our communities and as far as our voices can carry. We strongly feel the right to healthy food is important to everyone. Up to this point, we have chosen not to bring our collective organizations into political discussions because we did not feel it was appropriate.

That being said, we feel it is important to establish our position on the conversation about human rights.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Desmond Tutu
We stand against the racial inequities that are pervading our country. We stand for just treatment of all our fellow citizens and recognize that too many are marginalized too often. We call out to our elected local and national representatives to institute the policies that will clearly halt and rectify this pervasive disease of systemic racism.

To people of color in our communities: We may never fully understand what it is like to live in your shoes, but we are listening. We understand our privilege and will stand up with you, because we value who you are, the importance of your presence, and what you contribute to our community at large.

To our entire urban farming community: Please, add your voice to the movement to empower access to basic human rights and dignity in America and across the world. Become more informed and involved.

How to help: The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance letter to their members listed many organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people of color, and suggested readings that offer enlightenment on how we got to this current state. The Urban Farm’s Statement on Human Rights listed several organizations that can help marginalized communities in their quest for a healthier food system, as well as several podcasts with some inspiring interviews. Please explore as many as you can and support the ones that resonate with you.

What we are doing: As a group, for many years we have been working with different individuals and organizations in the southwest and across the country who are committed to improving their local food system. We are delighted to announce that our special guest for the 2020 Great American Seed Up is Darren Chapman from Tiger Mountain Foundation. His story and the mission of his organization are critical at so many levels as they help challenged communities through their community gardens and education programs for youth and adults. These programs give purpose, increase healthy food access, reduce recidivism, and provide job skills. Please join us in supporting him and his foundation.

Our goal is to expand The Great American Seed Up and share it with communities across the nation. We believe this can make a difference in food insecure communities, and will improve resilience for all that it touches. We welcome anyone who wants to connect with us about making that happen in their community.

We offer this statement to you to establish where we stand on the issue of human rights. We will continue in our mission to create food resiliency through seed knowledge, as it is critical during this time of food system supply disruption.


The Great American Seed Up Team

If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns, please email us at: