ASEED’s commitment to embed intersectionality as an organising principle

“The cause of the majority is the cause for all of us! It is all of our humanity that we seek to recover, the humanity of both ‘us and them’” Mama D

ASEED recognises the need to embed an intersectional approach in the way we organise and act as a social movement aiming for agricultural justice, climate justice and food autonomy and overall systemic justice. This text serves to clarify the relevance and value of intersectionality as a concept and practice for our organisation. We finalise by detailing a clear set of commitments to the way we organise and collaborate.

ASEED acknowledges that the majority of its organisation, the (Dutch) climate justice movement to which it is part of and the alternative food movement (1) which it supports are overwhelmingly represented by people with white, middle-class, academic, CIS-gender ( Cis-gender: When a person’s sex and gender identity aligns), and Western identities. This is problematic because then the fight for climate justice becomes defined from a place of multiple power positions, which can be a source of silencing (sometimes not identified as such).

Agroecological and organic food is no longer widely accessible to a large amount of people, especially those facing multiple and intersecting forms of systemic oppression. The movements in this Western European context which seek justice and liberation for all peoples from the corporate food regime and climate change injustices are not accessible, represented or decided by all peoples (2).

We strive for food autonomy which is “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricultural systems” (3). ASEED acknowledges that the very concepts/practices which we strive for (agricultural justice, climate justice and food autonomy) are not concepts and visions solely made by white/western climate movements originally (as which it often seems to appear). These practices have been commonplace long before within indigenous and peasant cultivation practice all over the world.

Yet often those whose forebears were long involved with these practices, or those who do not get to voice their distinct experiences and issues are then excluded from attempts to create holistic solutions. By not holding ourselves accountable for taking up space, where it is not ours to take, we are holding on to and legitimizing power structures which configure whiteness as the norm. Interlocking systems of power and oppression are likely to be reproduced even by those of us who strive for an intersectional approach to creating alternative food systems. This must change and an intersectional approach to organising provides possibilities to reduce power inequalities, exclusion and marginalisation within and across progressive movements.

By reproducing oppressive structures, we can never obtain system change because the systems of oppression are the pillars of the capitalist, colonial and patriarchal system that has put us in a state of humanitarian, environmental and climate crisis. As in the words of Audre Lourde (1984): “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change”

Intersectionality is a framework to understand how persons, or groups of people, are disadvantaged/advantaged by multiple sources of prejudice/power and discrimination, due to their uniquely overlapping structured identities and experiences such as race, class, gender, age, sexuality, disabilities, migration status and geopolitical location.

When looking at privilege/oppression one should not only look at one category of privilege/oppression (such as race or class) to understand the situation but always take into account the multiple intersections.  For example, a white woman will face oppression in the form of sexism and misogyny but still retain the power of being white whereas a black woman will face both racism and gender-based oppression. To these can be added distinctions of class and/or different forms of ableism or ageism. Therefore, we cannot look at oppression/privilege from “just” a gender or a race perspective, but we always have to take into account the intersections.  We give thanks, respect and recognition for our increased awareness to black anti-racist, feminist and queer theorists and activists for intersectionality’s origin (4).

If multiple marginalised communities and people have their decisions, voices, experiences and agendas silenced, there cannot be a just system change. Similarly, if whiteness and maleness as an intersectional privilege is unrecognised then their disproportionate voice also passes for an invisible norm and gets amplified unnoticeably.

Transformative cross-community, cross-sector and cross-issue collaborations cannot occur without an intersectional analysis. Intersectionality provides analytical and practical tools for everyone because we are all impacted by oppressive structures. We think that activists, advocates, lawyers, artists, scholars, cultural workers, farmers and everyone else involved in the climate justice movement can use intersectionality to understand and work alongside each other (5). Intersectionality is one means, within a toolbox of others, for building respectful, compassionate and decolonial coalitions.

ASEED commits to embed intersectionality in our work by putting it into practice and applying it as an organising principle. We translate this intention into a set of action-oriented commitments:


  1. ASEED commits to be constantly checking our privileges and to become aware of how these create blind spots in our work. Since we work within a system of oppression our work will be influenced by this, and we will commit to dismantle, and make evident our biases and internalised oppressive behaviour.


  1. ASEED commits to be a platform of allyship (6) and solidarity for those who do not have access to different levels of power because of bodily otherness, class or other forms of intersections.


  1. ASEED commits to recognising and raising awareness of multiple, systemic barriers to opportunities and multiple forms of prejudice and privilege. Within this we commit to learn about and engage with intersectional oppressions/privileges in which multiple forms of oppression/privilege overlap and create complex, unique and reinforcing barriers/gains to opportunities.


  1. ASEED commits to centre the voices of those most affected by agricultural, climate, and food injustices. We will step aside and be supportive of these marginalised voices and contribute to removing the oppressive struggles they are facing.


  1. ASEED commits to horizontally organising knowledge exchanges, panel discussions and programmes, such as the Food Autonomy Festival. We invite people from a diversity of backgrounds and bodies who take part in deciding the contents and process of the public events.


  1. ASEED commits to participate and learn from and with different, intersecting struggles, beyond our own work for food autonomy, agricultural and climate justice. This includes solidarity work and trainings in anti-racist, feminist, anti-fascist and working class struggles as well as the relationships between these things.


  1. ASEED commits to organise with everyone whom the system represses and to reach out to those who are currently made invisible, with humility, and open hearts and minds to work alongside them systematically recognising the relationship between all ’causes’ that contributeto social justice.


  1. ASEED commits to credit and recognize the originators of ideas and practices which are used in our social movement work. Many of the ideas and visions the climate justice movement are striving for are based on those of the working class, Black and anti-racist movements of the 18th through 20th centuries.


  1. ASEED commits  to collaborate with people and/or provide resources for people from     different communities, issue areas, and sectors to realise transformative change together.



  1. Bobby J. Smith, Food justice, intersectional agriculture, and the triple food movement, 2019
  2. Bobby J. Smith, Food justice, intersectional agriculture, and the triple food movement, 2019


  1. The Spark, INTERSECTIONALITY/DECOLONIALITY: Information for Facilitators, 2016