Earlier this month, we issued a statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, affirming our commitment to racial justice. We felt it was important to express our outrage and sorrow at the oppression, cruelty and injustices Black people have suffered in America for hundreds of years. But we also recognize that words are not enough–action is what’s needed to realize a better world.
As a Fair Trade company and founding member of the B Corp movement, we are always asking how Numi can balance purpose and profit. We are dedicated to using business as a force for good and creating lasting positive change for people and the planet. We want to take this opportunity to share more about the actions Numi has taken, both internally and externally, to combat racism, police brutality, and structural inequality.
Anti-Police Brutality Work and Black Lives Matter Support
- We donated to We the Protestors, a national organization focused on ending racism and police violence in the United States. We the Protesters has built the most comprehensive database of police violence in the nation, used the data to identify effective policy solutions, and supported movement organizers to enact these policies at every level of government.
- We provided holistic and healing teas for herbal care kits that went to local organizations supporting Black people in need.
- We have increased employee paid volunteer hours from 4 hrs per month to 8 hrs per month for the next 3 months to encourage everyone to take action.
- We have formed a multi-racial female task force to lead the company in discussions on race and justice, and identify next steps Numi can take to support BIPOC employees within our company and in the world at large.
- We will conduct an anti-bias training for all employees to help shine a light on recognizing and overcoming our own ingrained biases.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Representation
- As Arab Muslim Americans who were born in and immigrated from Iraq, we are proud to be a minority-owned and run business. Our Executive Team is comprised of 75% people of color, another fact we take pride in.
- We helped to create J.E.D.I. Collaborative, an array of industry peers and experts working to break down systemic barriers in the natural foods industry and center justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our work.
- We seek out and collaborate with BIPOC creators, with a focus on building longterm paid partnerships that adequately value their contributions.
- We started Numi Foundation 11 years ago with the vision of a world where all basic human needs are met and people have the resources to fulfill their greatest potential. We have worked for years in our hometown of Oakland, California to support disadvantaged communities of color.
- Our Foundation works with the lowest income (Title 1) schools in the Oakland Unified School District to bring gardening, art, and social studies curriculum to elementary school students. These programs either have been eliminated for disenfranchised children and/or are more available for children in the suburbs. And we believe that the lack of good education is an issue that perpetuates systemic inequalities. This program has seen more than $100K in investment over the past 3 years.
COVID-19 Food Relief
- When the pandemic hit, Numi Foundation mobilized to provide emergency food relief to Oakland public school families that have been hit hardest by COVID-19–in particular African American, Latino, and Southeast Asian families who are undocumented or unable to access stimulus funding, unemployment benefits, or food stamps. To date, we have delivered over 35,000 lbs. of fresh, organic, culturally relevant food to over 600 Bay Area families.
- We also partnered with OUSD to fix their broken food truck so they could expand the capacity of their food distribution sites in low-income neighborhoods. The food truck has served 15,000+ meals to families in need.
We recognize that there is still much more work to do and that we don’t have all the answers. But we have been inspired by the courage of everyone who has joined forces to stand against racism, brutality, inequality and hate. We encourage you to hold us and each other accountable in this difficult but necessary work.
Reem Hassani and Ahmed Rahim, Co-Founders
Numi Organic Tea
Here are a few local and national organizations you can contribute to to show your support:
Here are a few resources we have found helpful in deepening our and our children’s education: