Listening and Learning
As awareness of long-standing racial injustice takes front stage in the United States, many people in residential intentional communities are asking questions about the imbalance of people of color in the communities movement. Out of a similar inquiry, a group of five people at Earthaven created the Racial Equity Task Group (RETG).
The intention of the RETG is to move forward on Goal 8 of Earthaven’s mission: “To work towards partnership culture, towards racial and gender equity, and against oppression in all its forms.”The first order of business for the committee is to create a strategic plan, which will inform the equity work at Earthaven over the next five years.
In an effort not to perpetuate more harm to Black and Indigenous peoples in this process, RETG has initiated a listening and learning project. The project will center the voices of Black people who are familiar with daily life at Earthaven. Participants will come together—without white folks—to share their experiences.
The RETG acknowledges the emotional labor involved in such a project. Participants will be paid for their contribution. The pay rate was based on the results of a survey to gauge willingness and to determine the kind of compensation for this precious work.
The project will launch over the next month. RETG is currently discussing how best to share the results of the conversation. The insights gleaned through the project will inform and shape the committee’s identification of the issues that are most urgent for the white people of this community to address.
For more information about Earthaven’s long-term vision for creating a partnership culture, please read the Statement of Transparency. It includes a breakdown of Goal 8 of Earthaven’s mission.