Applying Racial Equity to U.S. Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs - Flipbook - Page 74
Stage 4: Use a racial equity approach to ensure that experts of color are equitably engaged in leading this project and
shaping the narrative. To see what it means to equitably engage people of color, please see text box below. Any
racially equitable approach enables and empowers people of color to make decisions about how their narrative is
portrayed. It is critical to racial equity that people of color be empowered to exercise true leadership. This project, for
example, empowered authors and researchers of color who are experts to lead the development of the methodology.
During our consultations, we met with program participants who are people and experts of color. Participants in
programs are experts on the strengths and weaknesses of the programs. Feedback from people who receive or have
received nutrition benefits should guide research areas and topics. Some of the topics were identified solely by
listening to the perspectives of recipient experts of color.
Engaging with participants directly is an integral part of using a strengthened racial equity lens in order to empower
the agency of participants, even when qualitative or quantitative research has not yet caught up.
Stage 5: Consult with people doing this work. Often, policy recommendations are inadvertently made in siloes. Initial
consultations with experts on the issues should be made, but additional meetings with people who work with
communities that receive nutritional support, including staff who help implement nutritional programs, are critical.
When possible, learn about the racial equity work that nonprofit staff, intermediaries, and program implementers are
already doing, and look for opportunities for the anti-hunger field to apply a racial equity lens.
Questions to Ask at Each Stage: Properly
Applying a Racial Equity Lens
Below are detailed questions that should shape the process of
gathering and evaluating information. This general methodology can be
used to apply a racial equity lens to any policies and programs.
For more information on how
your organization can apply a
racial equity lens, both internally
and through your decision
making on policy, advocacy, and
implementation, please use the
Racial Equity Assessment Tool,
created by the Alliance to End Hunger.
Stage 1. The first methodology principle is not to assume that the
policy/program did not already apply an equity lens. Ask
questions such as:
a. What are the different aspects of this policy?
b. Do we have the data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, that we need to analyze possible disparities, the extent
of equality in outcomes, etc.?
c. In what ways does each aspect contribute to producing equal outcomes for people of color and whites? In other
words, what is being done intentionally to close racial divides?
d. In what ways is the program neutral? Neutral policies provide the same level of services and support to everyone,
so they neither improve nor worsen racial inequities.
e. In what ways do policies put people of color at a further disadvantage? How do aspects of the program harm the
effort to achieve racial equity?
Stage 2. The second methodology principle is to analyze the outcomes of different racial and ethnic groups.
Ask questions such as:
a. What is the racial and ethnic makeup of the population that this program serves?
b. How does each racial and ethnic group fare with each outcome that is measured—for example, iron levels or
Stage 3. The third methodology principle is to analyze how and why people of different racial or ethnic groups have
different outcomes. Investigate possible reasons for different outcomes:
a. What are the factors that contribute to producing a specific outcome for a specific ethnic or racial group? Potential
answers could have something to do with the design of the program or its implementation, or they could be
b. How are these driving factors different among each racial and ethnic group facing this same outcome?
c. How are these driving factors similar among each racial and ethnic group facing this same outcome?
d. What is the history behind this driving factor? When and where did it originate? What has been its impact on
individual families and the larger community within each racial or ethnic group?
e. Given this history, how might this driving factor impact the ability of community members to experience this
program, or aspect of this program?
APPLYING RACIAL EQUITY TO U.S. FEDERAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: SNAP, WIC AND CHILD NUTRITION