On fostering diversity, resilience, and empathy.

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We at Savory have been immersed, feeling, listening, reading, trying to understand and process the deep pain that is being expressed right now in the US. The multi-racial movement, led by young people, that has taken to the streets in the US and cities around the world to demand equality and justice for Black people after the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, reflect a torment and an urgency that is deeply-rooted and much more complex than we can ever begin to understand.

We have been contemplating this historical moment within our team, including “How do we, Savory Institute, show up?”

I acknowledge that we don’t have in our team the firsthand life experience that makes these racial matters so painfully real for so many. But the pain is felt.  Also felt is the uncertainty of how to show up. There is hesitancy, as we worry we could say something too simplistic, wrong, inadequate, politically incorrect, or even untimely.

But that should not stop us from showing up and being active citizens, compassionate, and supportive of those millions of Black Americans asking for justice, equality, inclusion, and their rightful place in society.

We hold a vision of “a world in which humans have learned to live in harmony with each other and the Earth”. Our work is designed to foster diversity, resilience, and empathy for the Earth and all its inhabitants. Its global nature has gifted us the opportunity to engage with and learn from people of diverse races and ethnicities living in varied political contexts. We are honored to work with many Black agricultural communities around the world, mainly in Africa, where their specific contextual challenges and suffering are different but still profound.

We are deeply concerned for the rights and justice for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) here in the US and abroad, and even more so with addressing the root causes of these ailments.

We believe that until all people feel secure and well-governed, none are. And to this end, Savory Institute is dedicated to working globally with team humanity in all cultures, countries, and environments to bring about that better world through managing holistically. We stand solidly behind our Black American family because, of course, Black Lives Matter to us everywhere.

Savory Institute’s value-based Holistic Context (HC) guides our organization’s decisions and actions, as well as the design of programs and structures that enable our work.

So, first of all, we will review our HC in light of the renewed awareness unveiled by the current events.

We commit to continuing to learn and dig deeper, uncover and examine our biases with an open mind, consider different perspectives with an open heart, and challenge our preconceived notions on the specific matters of racism, inequality, and injustice. We will ensure our HC reflects our growth.

We will proactively and holistically assess current and new organizational structures, checking that they effectively contribute to addressing the underlying root-causes of this systemic crisis.

We commit to inviting ever more ethnic and racial diversity into our organization and network.

And we commit to continuing our work in Black agricultural communities in the USA and around the world, with a heightened appreciation of the need to promote policies that ensure their equitable inclusion in society.

This is a profound moment that requires us to not settle for quick-fix solutions using the same thinking that created all these unintended consequences. This moment in history demands a concerted effort to design the future holistically to bring forth a world that is just, more beautiful, and as Buckminster Fuller has called on for years… “one that works for 100% of humanity”.

Respectfully,

Daniela Ibarra-Howell
Savory Institute, CEO & Co-founder

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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