"A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living."
– Rudolf Steiner
This month marks an important moment for the Biodynamic Association and the biodynamic community throughout North America. We are excited to share that after months of development, the Board of Directors and staff of the Biodynamic Association (BDA) have adopted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement. This is a significant step in developing, implementing, and evolving principles and practices within our organization that are authentically equitable and inclusive of all people. This sets in motion a committed movement to social justice, equity, and inclusion, and a more comprehensive biodynamic movement worldwide. We truly feel that in order for us to reach a destination where biodynamics informs how the human species engages with our Earth in a healthy way – especially as it pertains to our relationship with the food we grow and eat – we must bring in all elements of our existence in an authentic and just partnership so that through relationship we can collectively grow a more healthy, empowered, viable and biodynamic future. The BDA Board and staff are excited to carry out this important work, and we invite you to join us in furthering this conversation at our 2018 Biodynamic Conference, Transforming the Heart of Agriculture: Soil. Justice. Regeneration. For more on our journey to this point, BDA members can also view the recording of our May 30 member conversation salon "Biodynamics and Social Justice."
Biodynamic Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
The Biodynamic Association (BDA)'s mission is to "awaken and enliven co-creative relationships between humans and the earth, transforming the practice and culture of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities." In order to fulfill this mission, we believe the BDA must recognize and play a key role in transforming the historical and contemporary injustices faced by both humans and the earth. We are active in our inquiry into the sources of and solutions to injustice, as part of our work and relationship to land.
We see richness in the biodynamic movement coming about through diversity, and we are committed to building greater equity and inclusion within BDA membership, Board of Directors, and staff. Just as diversity in our agricultural fields does not happen on its own, but needs to be planted, cultivated, and nurtured by the stewards of the land, so to is it our responsibility to actively plant, cultivate, and nurture diversity, equity, inclusion, and right relationships in the BDA and the biodynamic movement. We fundamentally value and respect experiences that are different from our own. We strive to provide equal opportunity to people of all races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, incomes, marital statuses, ages, geographic locations, experiences, political affiliations, and philosophies to participate in all levels of our Association.
We recognize that the land which is now known as the United States of America was stewarded by indigenous people since time immemorial, and acknowledge that within indigenous land-based communities exist longstanding practices that closely align with biodynamics. We recognize these cultures and agricultural practices as allies of the biodynamic movement. We recognize that colonialism has inflicted widespread exploitation and destruction upon the indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as the animals, plants, and soil.
We recognize that the agricultural economy of the United States was built through slavery, capitalism, and white supremacy. We recognize that racism and patriarchy were prevalent prior to the founding of this country, and that the United States was founded upon racist and patriarchal principles that continue to be perpetuated in mainstream American culture. We stand in solidarity with people who have been systematically excluded from access to land, water, capital, education, and organizational and political leadership. We seek to unlearn and undo racism, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression through our work.
We are committed to continually listening, learning, and deepening our understanding of social justice, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to actively establishing and nurturing authentic relationships with people and communities practicing biodynamic, indigenous, and traditional agriculture and land stewardship throughout the world, and engaging in open dialogue and collaboration.
The image included with this piece is my hand drawing of Rudolf Steiner's planetary seal for the sun. Each planet is associated with an organ in the human body, and the sun is associated with the heart. So much of the journey toward social justice is about enlivening and opening our hearts.