Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
At 8 Shields Institute, we stand in solidarity with Black communities nationwide and join in the collective grief over innocent lives lost. We condemn state-sanctioned violence in all its forms. We join in the demand for investment in Black communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive.
We acknowledge, as a currently white-led leadership team, the systemic structures of racism in the United States of America, and we commit to making the dismantling of structural racism a pillar of our work in nature connection and regenerative culture.
We commit to undoing our individual racist socialization and to upholding anti-racist policies in our organization and the communities we serve.
We continue to educate ourselves on the history of structural racism and its connection to the land, informing our work. We want to highlight the Pulitzer Prize winning series by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project, a history of slavery in North America, and the the podcast “Seeing White”, about the origins of the dehumanizing construct of race.
We recognize the sickness of separation, engendered by colonization and enslavement, and we vow to act from a healing perspective to rebuild connections to self, to the land and to each other.
We ask you to join us in supporting the work of organizations, some of them named here, who endeavor to reclaim the connection of Black and Brown Americans to nature and to our farms and food systems, and to ensure the safety and comfort of communities of color in the outdoors: Outdoor Afro, Latino Outdoors, BLISS Meadows, Queer Nature, and Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust.
We appreciate those we have learned from on this journey, especially Resmaa Menakem, Dr. Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, Movement Generation, and the United States Department of Arts and Culture.
We invite you to join the Movement for Black Lives, and participate in their National Week of Action, June 1-5.
We offer our prayers for collective transformation and the evolutionary potential of resilience in our humanity.