Strategic Planning Process to Uproot Racism and Center Equity

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Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council





Organization Overview:

The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) connects Philadelphians and their local government to create a more just food system. FPAC envisions a food system where all people in Philadelphia have the power to access, own and control our food, land, and labor. Learn more at

Food policy councils bring together residents and local government to make decisions about food related issues. Mayor Michael Nutter appointed the inaugural members of the Philadelphia Food Policy Council in January 2011. FPAC is led by 27-35 mayoral appointees who serve on the following subcommittees--Anti-Hunger, Urban Agriculture, Workforce and Economic Development, Zero Waste, Food and Health, Good Food Procurement, Membership and Governance, and Strategic Planning. FPAC members have worked to protect funding for SNAP, provided policy recommendations on healthy food access in Philadelphia schools, and developed the Guide to Fair Labor for Good Food Businesses which helps local food industry employers to implement fair labor practices.

Project Name:

Strategic Planning Process to Uproot Racism and Center Equity
Project Type: 
Strategic Plan; Marketing/Fundraising Plan

Project Overview:

Like food policy councils across the country, FPAC has historically catered to people working professionally in the food system, such as City officials, non-profit workers, business owners, and academics. While their contributions are necessary and valuable, this bias makes invisible the people who are enacting community-based solutions to food inequities and struggling with food systems challenges, such as a family experiencing food insecurity or a food worker who doesn’t make a livable wage. FPAC is currently working with consultants from Dragonfly Partners and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives to develop a theory of change and a strategic plan to achieve FPAC’s move from organization/institution-centered to community-centered with a focus on centering the work in equity and anti-racism.

As our consultant team focuses on facilitating democratic processes with our membership and interviewing City government, movement and community stakeholders, we seek a student from Fels Lab to support our work learning from organizations and food policy councils across the globe. What are other city's strategies for centering and investing in the leadership of community members who have been most impacted from our current food system, i.e., poor and working class Black, Indigenous and people of color; people who are experiencing disabilities, people who are formerly incarcerated, people who do not have documentation status, etc.? How are these councils structured? Are they housed within city government? If so, which departments? Do they compensate their members? If so, how much? How do the policy recommendations of people most impacted get to the government, non-profit, and business sectors?

Our ultimate goal is to be a local food policy advisory council that makes amends for historically racist and unjust policies and learns from and amplifies the wisdom of our most marginalized community members. We believe that when our city's food policy is crafted by Black mommas on food stamps and undocumented Latinx restaurant workers, for example, our city will be more just, nourishing and delicious for all. This research and planning process is a step towards those ultimate goals and vision.

You can learn more about Phase I of our planning process (completed in the spring) and our goals for Phase II here:


A successful project will include some or all of these products:

  • Case studies from food policy councils and grassroots coalitions across the globe that are written at a 7th grade reading level and are visually engaging
  • An organized and user-friendly spreadsheet of policy wins towards a just food system from other cities
  • A fundraising plan for how to sustain FPAC's new operations

These can be adapted based on the skills and interests of the Fels student. Our staff and members are actively engaged in all aspects of the strategic plan and would love support in other aspects as well.

Project Timeline:

Key deadlines from our overall strategic planning process:
*April: presentation of the completed SP, including the vision, ToC, goals, and strategy tools. Celebration. This would be the deadline for the case studies and policy wins from other cities.
*August: end of Fels term. This would be the deadline for the fundraising plan and other aspects of work.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326