Volunteer-run community farm

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Posted by Prairie Urban Farm 11:21 No comments

A Message to Our Prairie Urban Farm Volunteers and Friends

Many of the events unfolding across the world, including the pandemic and the eruption of protests against violence perpetrated by police against Black, Indigenous, other people of colour, and LGBTQ peoples, have brought several essential conversations to the forefront and highlighted the importance of kindness, inclusion, allyship, and anti-racism. While PUF has always openly welcomed diverse volunteers and groups to the farm, we haven’t yet directly addressed our stance and values relating to this important topic. We want to take this time to emphasize our strong support for inclusion and anti-racism at the farm.

We believe PUF’s biggest strength is its volunteers. Over the years, PUF has grown and flourished through the hard work and dedication of volunteers of all ages, races, abilities and genders, each of whom has contributed to a community based on mutual respect and support. This diversity has fostered a wealth of knowledge sharing while also uniting us through our collective commitment to growing healthy food in a sustainable manner.

As such, we want to encourage all of our volunteers to continue to enrich our community by sharing their unique ideas, experiences and perspectives and to listen to others who are sharing theirs.

We also recognize that discrimination occurs in a variety of ways. This includes, but is not limited to, stereotyping, racial profiling, bias, and differential treatment. Victims of discrimination often remain silent for fear of criticism, inferiority, mockery, or humiliation. To ensure that we are providing an inclusive space for everyone to feel safe, respected, and valued, we invite everyone to please share any feedback, issues, or concerns in the event that you or a fellow volunteer or visitor experiences any behaviours, actions, or words that do not reflect our commitment of inclusivity, respect and diversity.

If any volunteer or visitor experiences any form of discrimination, you are encouraged to discuss the incident onsite in a constructive manner if you feel comfortable doing so. Bringing awareness to the situation may lead to valuable and educational conversations that could bring greater awareness to everyone about how to show respect for diversity. If you prefer to speak privately to a mentor, do not hesitate to approach any one of our PUF mentors on site, or online via email or Slack. Remember that PUF is a safe space to share your concerns, and we are here to support you.

We are all responsible for sustaining a zero tolerance environment against racism and discrimination. Although it takes courage, we believe the most important means of doing so is to bring attention to acts of discrimination when they occur and t turn a hurtful moment into a learning moment. Individuals may be unaware of how their words and actions may be hurtful to others. Let’s all strive for active communication, awareness and positive change.

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