Anti-Racism Statement

Since our inception, Wasatch Community Gardens has cultivated respectful, authentic connections among diverse people - both within our organization and across our community. We have broken ground together, broken bread together, laughed with each other, and learned from each other. As an organization, we embrace the value of inclusion because it is the human equivalent of a resilient, thriving ecosystem or vegetable garden.  

In a society that was designed and continues to marginalize and silence people of color, inclusion is a value that requires committed and persistent action. This is especially important in our work with local food systems, gardening and farming, environmentalism, education, and health and wellness. Racism has historically been intrinsic to these systems, and we must therefore be clear and intentional in our anti-racist work. That is why we have chosen to become an actively anti-racist organization. A committee of staff and board members will meet regularly to build anti-racist values and practices into our daily actions and our programs. This committee will also be tasked with establishing accountability measures and evaluating progress on those measures.  

We recognize that we have plenty of learning to do and progress to make, particularly given our current position as a majority-white organization. We acknowledge and thank community members and organizations who have been leading anti-racist conversations and efforts long before we instituted our own organizational efforts. 

We also recognize that accountability is essential to putting meaningful action behind our words, and we will share these concrete measures here as soon as they are established.  

Members of our organization are currently taking numerous steps to further integrate anti-racism efforts into our community service. These include:

  • Measurement of aggregate racial and ethnic diversity within our programs and how it relates to Salt Lake County demographics
  • Efforts to increase accessibility and relevance of our programs to Hispanic and Latinx community members
  • Partnership with the International Rescue Committee to provide growing space for communities of refugee background in our community gardens
  • Work with community garden members and a University of Utah class to identify best practices in similar community garden programs across the country that increase inclusivity and accessibility of gardens
  • Trainings through YWCA Utah's 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge
  • Trainings with the Inclusion Experience Project
  • Trainings through the Utah Nonprofit Association on organizational culture, with a focus on race, equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Regular program team reflections on how to incorporate anti-racism into our ongoing work 

We recognize these efforts and related education and understanding are a journey, and becoming an anti-racist organization is about more than completing a checklist. Engagement with our community and stakeholders is the core of our work, and we commit to ongoing learning, conversation and action in continuing on this path together.