DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
Gould Farm envisions a community dedicated to anti-racism, equity, and interconnection, and is committed to dismantling white supremacy culture. The DEI Committee drives this ongoing work through education, dialogue, relationship building, and policy change.
The importance of the work
In order to support people with mental health challenges and their families, we are building upon Gould Farm’s history and acknowledging the barriers to mental health treatment that many people face due to race, ability, and income. Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) with mental health challenges and those at the intersection of multiple marginalized group identities, including LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent people, face structural barriers to appropriate and accessible mental health services.
An inclusive community
Gould Farm has a responsibility to acknowledge these systemic barriers and to work proactively to create a community that is inclusive and equitable for every person. We are working to put this at the center of our work at all levels.
Our commitment to diversity and equity is rooted in the history and practices of the Farm and its dedication to mental health and healing. From its founding, Gould Farm has not set a minimum participation fee, but rather a sliding scale fee structure. Community members have participated in broader social change movements. And recently the organization has engaged in efforts to address the inclusion of LGBTQIA individuals.
In spite of the Farm’s history, values, and efforts, it has largely been and served a white-privileged constituency for the past 100 years. In this way, Gould Farm has reflected the broader racial disparities in the mental health care system.
As an organization within this sector, we are working to recognize how we reinforce structural inequities and historical racism and are committing to championing and implementing policies and practices that create a just, inclusive, and equitable society.
Gould Farm is committed to:
Placing antiracism work and the processes of dismantling white supremacy at the core of our organizational culture through substantive learning and formal, transparent policies. For example, the staff has now engaged in two intensive book studies over several months, including the books Me and White Supremacy by Laila Saad and My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem. We are also reviewing and updating internal policies, including our staff handbook and job descriptions and we expanded our holiday policy to be more inclusive and formed a holiday committee to consider how we recognize holidays in sensitive and appropriate ways.
Working to engage with and recruit people from underrepresented groups as Gould Farm program participants and ensuring that opportunities are provided equitably to black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and to people across the spectrum of wealth and income.
Building relationships with BIPOC leaders and organizations that center the voices of people of color. For example, we joined the Berkshire Black Economic Council as an organizational member to expand our recruitment network for employees and volunteers.
Expanding our training in antiracism and cultural competency to include all staff, board members, and volunteers.
Expanding underrepresented voices and authority on the board and in senior leadership positions of the organization, as well as in staff and volunteers generally.
We recognize that this work will be ongoing and that the list above is just the beginning. We are committed to leading with our mission, and to making good on the promise of inclusion that is at the heart of all we do. In November 2020, we formed a DEI committee comprised of staff members. This group has been working actively since to guide policy changes and organize trainings for staff