On Friday, we had two Tamarack Farmers report to the Board of Trustees. They were speaking for the Camper Council, which has two campers from each of the Farm & Wilderness Camps. After they had done their presentation, one board member asked them what was a highlight for them about the summer. They answered, “our social justice programming.” They could have picked swimming with alpacas, hiking to the top of a beautiful Vermont mountain, or building a new art barn. Instead, they chose to highlight the work we’ve done toward justice.
The reason this piece is so strong at the Farm is because we don’t just talk about issues of equity, we have the daily challenge of living out our beliefs together. Living as a community that values inclusivity and equity sounds good when you say it, but it’s actually a lot of really hard work. Luckily we’re an experiential -learning program, so we look at difficulties and even mistakes/failures as opportunities for growth and learning.
If you know a Tamarack Farmer, ask them what they learned about justice this summer.
Here are some quotes from a reflection we did this week:
“About race privilege and my place in the struggle.”
“How to fight internalized racism in my community.”
“About the ways racism affects us all. I learned about how this oppression is ingrained in us and about where it comes from. I learned that I need to actively stop internalizing racism in media and work to support POC (people of color) and make change.”
“About powerlessness and the other faces of oppression. I have learned that organizing and executing activism is very difficult.”
“That there is real pain out there. That the fight isn’t even close to over.”
“There will always be ways to show up better for racial justice, there is still so much internal work for me to do as a white person…this is lifelong, everyday, every minute work that must be done.”
I’m committed to…
“Standing up and using my voice to make life easier for others. Reaching out and making change in my community.”
“Going to more protests, getting involved in organizing, talking about racism more and making change.”
“Checking my privilege and spreading the word.”
“Being more aware, more active and more involved in the sociopolitical movements around me.”
“Divesting from and renouncing privilege and fear-based systems of oppression.”
“Combating racism and white supremacy in myself, my family, my communities, in all spaces I have access to.”