Written in collaboration by WLF Staff and Board Members
We recognize that Wright-Locke Farm is a refuge for many — a breath of fresh air amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, even more so during the crises we are all facing. However, the Farm is still very much a part of our evolving society and we (as the Farm and as individuals who make up its community) are committed to being engaged and active participants in making our world a better place for all. We wanted to take a moment to address where the Farm stands when it comes to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”).
In the wake of the George Floyd murder, the continued killings of unarmed persons of color, and the ensuing anti-racist protests, we, at Wright-Locke Farm, have started a long-overdue conversation and self-reflection on racial injustice and our role and responsibility as a predominately white and privileged organization. The Farm staff and several of our Board members have convened an ongoing weekly meeting – our first meeting of each work week – to explore these broad issues around our own racial identities and biases, first as individuals, then as a larger farm organization.
Our first impulse is to act, to do something to lessen the systemic racism that at once is a by-product and a cause of our society’s income inequality, food insecurity, and environmental degradation. But we feel that a truly genuine response that’s reflective of our organization can only occur if we first challenge ourselves to examine how a lifetime of experiences has influenced our attitudes and perceptions of race. Our first step has been for each of us to share our socio-cultural perspective on race formed from our own personal circumstances and experiences. It’s refreshing to say that in this short series of meetings, we have learned more about each other than in several years of working together.
As Wright-Locke Farm grows and matures, we want to make sure that the organization and all the individuals supporting its operation have a solid foundation and the tools to make decisions that will help promote equity and the ability for all to enjoy this beloved space and its programs. We believe that educating ourselves, developing our language around inequality, and providing dedicated time and space to discuss and listen to these issues is the first step of our journey. With our individual identities and experiences with race openly shared and better understood, our next step is to formulate individual and organizational goals to become more anti-racist. Our hope is that we can be authentic and intentional in what we do, and how we do our small part to be accountable to ourselves, each other, and communities outside of our own to lessen the impact of racial injustice and economic inequality.
As we go through this process, we will periodically report on our progress. It is our desire to be transparent and honest about this process and we hope to open this discussion to the rest of the farm community in the future. Please feel free to contact any of our staff or Archie McIntyre, our Executive Director, or Lia O’Donnell, our Board President, with any questions, comments or thoughts.