This past week, our team has been called to engage in deep reflection and raw conversations, both as an organization and as individuals, on how we truly stand up for not just the soil, but all the people who stand on it.
Some of the conversations we’ve had are not new to our organization; seeds have been planted to support programmatic changes. However, when we take a deeper look, we recognize that historically we’ve only taken baby steps to assure equality in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender in comparison to the leaps we’ve taken for the ground beneath our feet.
As a society, we need to begin to see all people as whole and complete human beings that have the love and intelligence to create a new future. To create the future we believe is possible, we must no longer accept baby steps as progress.
Moving forward, here are the commitments we’ve decided upon unanimously:
- Scholarships: We will reserve scholarships for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This applies to our Farmland Program, which supports producers (farmers and ranchers) in transitioning landscapes and adopting management practices aligned with the principles of regenerative agriculture, as well as our Stewardship Educational Program, which we are significantly expanding this year as we build upon our Soil Advocate Training and Regenerative Gardening course offerings.
- Diversity Within Our Educational Offerings: We will integrate the principles of Intersectional Environmentalism and diversity training into our Stewardship course offerings, and partner with educators to provide inclusion and diversity training. We are also committed to diversifying our library of resources to represent all voices.
- Internal Training: We will engage in ongoing racial inclusion and equity training for our team and invite other environmental groups to join us.
- Media: We will tell more BIPOC stories and continuously amplify their voices on all of our media platforms.
- Diversified Teams: We will increase the diversity that is reflected on our team, our Board of Directors, our Advisory Council, and our Internship Program.
- Ongoing: We will continue to listen, learn, grow and integrate internal policies that support equality in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender.
To all reading, thank you for taking part in our work at Kiss the Ground thus far. We are forever grateful for your active participation and inspiration. We trust this brings us one step closer to realizing Kiss the Ground’s vision, founded in reciprocity between nature and humans, one where life is regenerative and we have fully embraced our role as caretakers of the planet and each other.
The work begins now.
Team Kiss the Ground