I have been involved with Earthdance for nearly twenty years and have served the organization in various leadership positions including 6 years as Co-Executive Director, as President of the Board of Directors, and most recently as Interim Executive Director. Several years ago, I learned of specific incidents of racism that had occurred within the organization. In hopes of trying to begin addressing these incidents, I participated in a truth and reconciliation forum held in the Fall of 2017. There was much follow up from the forum as well as development of other social justice initiatives in the subsequent year.
In 2019, when we received the summary about the forum we decided for numerous reasons not to publish it at that time, and to instead focus on following through on the actions identified in the summary as well as other diversity, equity, and inclusion processes that were moving forward. In retrospect, I see how my decisions then and since that time have led to broken trust and further marginalization among the People of Color / the Global Majority. I am deeply sorry for the ways I have not stepped up to challenging both specific and systemic racism in our organization. I am committed to continuing to learn more about my own blindspots and to doing my own work.
I also recognize that it is time for me to step down from the position of interim executive director within the next few months. I have been attempting to create a space for other voices and perspectives to rise. I will support the board in identifying my replacement and/or a new leadership structure that will ideally center in leadership individuals of the global majority and those with commitments to anti-oppression work.
I have dearly appreciated my tenure in various roles at Earthdance, and owe so much to this organization for its gift of magic and community to my life. I intend to stay connected as a participant and donor. I welcome any additional feedback, as I am committed to a life-long process of learning and growing.
- Spirit Joseph, interim executive director