Equity and Access Initiatives

With a desire and dedication to more transparency, this page shares some of the past, current and future commitments to Equity & Access at Earthdance. This is an in progress, unfolding document.

Acknowledgement of Past Transgressions

With great humility, the Earthdance Board of Directors takes full responsibility for the harm that has been caused, and is currently caused to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) at Earthdance. Over the years, our board and leadership have inadequately responded to signals from many parts of our community asking us to pay attention to the impact that systemic racism in the US has on our BIPOC companions, family, community, friends and partners, and to genuinely confront white privilege culture at Earthdance.

 

Structures to Support Equity & Access 

  • Equity & Access Committee (July 2020 to present) 

This committee is composed of board, staff, and community members who meet bi-weekly to care-take the processes and commitments of Equity & Access for Earthdance.  

  • Equity & Justice Coordinator 

This staff member supports Earthdance in becoming a more equitable and accessible organization by modeling care, justice and processes that lead to measurable change, initiating  the creation of protocols and procedures, and catalyzing organizational culture shifts.

  • DEI Committee History

The DEI Committee which is currently disbanded, grew from a DEI scholarship committee to a general DEI committee that addresses DEI in all aspects of Earthdance's operations. Here are a few highlights of their work:

  • Developed programming for the Falling Leaves jams around race, gender, and disability. Set the precedent for most Earthance seasonal jams to have POC and queer affinity spaces and for most jams to have a DEI facilitator on site to educate, advocate, and mediate.

  • Mediated a few large conflicts between Earthdance volunteers, staff, and the board.

  • Supported the writing of the Earthdance community agreements and anti-discrimination & accessibility statements.

  • Wrote a charter for our committee that offers a rigorous model for transparency in leadership and offered it to other committees as a model for how they can self-organize.

  • Galvanized the CI committee to put their DEI commitments in writing. 

  • Collaborated with the safety and respect committee to update their practices.

  • Received a lot of anecdotal evidence of an increase in safety and comfort at Earthdance for those who come from marginalized populations.

  • Supported/participated in more radical programming such as the queer jam weekends, the consent symposium, social justice Sundays, etc.

 

In Process/Current Undertakings

Earthdance recognizes the ongoing commitment and the need for change to be continual and moving towards accountable, sustainable, measurable actions. 
We are working towards commitment to and accountability for:

  • Raising Monies for Equity & Access Fund (formerly known as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Scholarship fund)

    • Fund-raising specifically from donors and community members 
    • Assigning percentage of proceeds from workshops to fund local and regional BIPOC Aristits and Artists with Access Needs. 

 

  • Paying individuals with Equity & Access Fund  

Earthdance exists in a field that has perpetuated systemic injustices. Organizations in the field must participate in equity and healing. Monies raised from above are used for:

  • Consultation with Equity, Access and Justice leaders to inform our practices and protocols

  • Scholarship funds for BIPOC participants to attend workshops, jams and residencies

  • Sponsoring BIPOC community care workshops for free

  • Donating a portions of proceeds from workshops to local BIPOC organizations to support equity, access, and justice work in the region

 

  • Programmatic Commitments

Earthdance recognizes the importance of having an accountable vision from which to measure our commitments in programs. We are in discussion and in an emerging process to having a clear set of commitments to and goals of:

  • Scholarships for BIPOC participants and participants who use mobility aids at all Earthdance held programming

  • Greater representation of BIPOC artists in the hiring of facilitators and teachers in annual programming as well as staff, board and volunteers

  • Greater representation of artists who use mobility aids  and other visible and invisible differing abilities in programming in annual programming as well as staff, board and volunteers

 

  • Community Training & Workshops

We recognize that the greater community of program participants, both long term and new members, have great influence on the organizational and programmatic culture and how white supremacy shows up at Earthdance. It is a power and privilege to hold influence in community and a responsibility to offer training opportunities for non-BIPOC individuals to move towards white allyship and build awareness of white supremacist culture:

  • Dedicated anti-oppression workshops for community members 

  • Accountability and reparation processes for people harmed by Earthdance Community Members

  • Accountability teams in place at Seasonal Jams

  • Anti-oppression discussions and program options at all Seasonal Jams. 

 

  • Accountability ‘Angels’

Earthdance currently envisions accountability teams who are ideally trained providers in such fields as: trauma-informed consent, anti-racist, and equity practices. We recognize the need for care, support, learning and guidance at all our workshops and jams. We envision the active presence of Accountability Angels as a care team who may prevent harm, support harm reduction, restore trust, hold complexity, and participate in activating the vision for a just and equitable organization. 

 

  • Repair Process

Recognizing each repair of interpersonal harm has uniqueness and process. The Equity and Access Committee is the home of repair work, which includes outreach to consultants who support movement toward reparations and restoration. Earthdance arches toward processes that hold the values of flexibility, dignity, and justice. Currently a process is being developed so folks who have experienced or witnessed harm and/or microaggressions know what are their options to be heard and seen. At this moment, please email feedback@earthdance.net and someone on the Equity & Access team will reach out to you.

 

  • Training for and Fundraising by Staff and Board

Earthdance is shifting together toward greater equity and access. Earthdance arches toward regular training for board and staff. Each year we will publicly state here the training that was completed.

Spring 2020-2021:

  • All board members and main staff completed at least one level of anti-racism training from Human in Common

  • Board completed 5 hours of consultation with Human in Common on organizational change 

  • Bi-weekly consultant hours with Taja Will in the Equity & Access Committee to develop processes and address white sumprecist cultural tendencies at Earthdance

  • Board and Executive Director completed 5 hours on organizational culture and change with Taja Will 

  • Board completed 3 hours of consultant work with Roberta Wilmore 

  • Board members personally contributed $7,000 to the Equity & Access Fund

 

Emergent Projects

Earthdance recognizes that words have power and we must continue to create shifts in language in our documents so they are in line with current and emerging values. Below are projects we recognize as ongoing commitments to review and revise. They also require collaborative community engagement.

  • Values, Mission & Values: in process of revamping, Spring 2021

  • Jam Guidelines: in process of revamping Spring 2021

  • Pledge & Access Commitments authored by Taja Will  in process of creating Spring 2021

    • The aim is for the Pledge to be shared with and signed by all workshop facilitators, program participants, and renters by August 2021

  • Equity & Access Conversations with facilitators for Earthdance Programming

  • Earthdance Land Acknowledgement authored by Taja Will 

Earthdance’s facility occupies the ancestral lands of the Agawams, Pocumtuc, Nipmuck, Wabanaki Confederacy, the land of the Mohican Indians. These lands were stolen by a government which also enslaved Black Americans and reaps the benefits of exploitative capitalism and genocide. The original stewards of these lands and resources still exist today and may we not forget the way culture, land and life theft continues to impact the Black & Indigenous people living in the United States currently. 

The Mohican Indians were the stewards of food including corn, squash, beans and tobacco. This land is to native animals such as white-tail deer, racoons, bears, moose, and fish. Tree species of birch, elm, maple, oak and pine are also native to this land; here then, now and in continued presence.  

 

Gratitude

Through the years, there have been many members of the community including staff, volunteers, board members, and/or community members who have:

  • Called In Earthdance to acknowledge past harms

  • Developed committees, scholarships and procedures to address Equity & Access needs

  • Spearheaded repartition processes and meditation

  • And much, much, more

WE THANK YOU for your time, effort, courage, vulnerability, fierceness and dedication to the cause to make Earthdance a safer environment for people with marginalized identities. 

 

If you’d like to support Earthdance in the Equity & Access Commitments, you can donate to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fund - To be renamed “Equity & Access Fund”

If you have any questions, thoughts, concerns, reach us at Feedback@earthdance.net