EQUITY- More than a statement
Grow It Green Morristown stands in solidarity with our Black communities locally and nationwide against racism and police brutality in all its forms. We know Black Lives Matter. Our staff and Board have been actively listening and learning. We know this is far from enough, however it is a start. We are not willing to remain silent on where we stand as an organization.
We ask you to join us in taking action to create equity and celebrate diversity.
Several of our staff and Board leadership joined on a critical applied practice path lasting 5 months joining people across the nation in an interactive series on Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression led by Yancey Consulting. The sessions challenged us to contemplate: "Why are we here? What are we going to do with this time? How deep are we willing to go? How uncomfortable are we willing to get to eliminate systemic racism and oppressive practices within your organization? What are we committing to do to build values-aligned relationships that we currently do not have?
We approach this journey, dedicated to our core values of Community, Education and Equity and stand against systemic racial inequity. We are committed to act with open eyes to see even further how our programs, practices and communications truly reflect these values at the farm and garden, and in our partnerships with many other local organizations and businesses. We will be setting new milestone targets for 2022, 2025 and 2030, and communicating them to you, our supporters, volunteers, donors and the community we are honored to serve and uplift.
Read on for more information about one of these new programs.
Phase One: Farmer Apprentice Program
Grow It Green has received grant funding for salaries from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation to create two part time diverse farmer apprenticeships this year. We are pleased to take a resource that we have that sits on land that belonged to the Munsee Lenape- an urban learning farm dedicated to sustainable growing practices founded by George Washington Carver- with Farmer Shaun- and use it to bring agriculture alive for underrepresented persons interested in a career as farmers and stewards of the land.
Our first two farmer apprentices are Grace and Chris. We are so enthused in the pilot phase of this program, when we have been learning and growing to bring people back to the skills of farming as a way to create resilience and health in communities. COVID-19 made this need even more critical with unprecented supply change challenges. We are looking at how we get back to being connected to nature with the lessons learned from indigenous practices.
What kind of history do you have related to agriculture when you look back at your family history? How long ago was that and what perceptions are there that exist in your own household about the role of farmers in our society? Who holds those roles, who owns the land and who makes decisions about what we have available to eat and how it is grown?