Permaculture is based on a set of ethics, one of which is People Care. The Permaculture Association recognises that disadvantage and inequality of opportunity exists. We are committed to the principle of equal opportunities. We intend to ensure that all people are treated equally and fairly in all our activities and services. We aim to ensure that no individual or groups of people are discriminated against on the grounds of colour, race, ethnic origin, creed, age, disability, gender, care responsibilities, class, sexual orientation, sub-culture or trade union membership. We recognise that people often face discrimination based on more than one aspect of their identities. Committed to action The Permaculture Association Britain is committed to a programme of action to make our equal opportunities policy fully effective. We will regularly examine and challenge barriers - this includes recognising that some people are prevented from accessing education due to structural biases. We have come to understand that equality is different from equity. Even though permaculture is used all over the world and we work across cultures and countries, the Permaculture Association (Britain) is a predominantly white charity with a majority white membership. We have benefited from white privilege. We are genuinely looking to understand our privilege and engage better with all communities, particularly as permaculture offers design solutions - solutions that can tackle societal and structural inequalities. We want to design a more equitable and fair world, with people care, earth care and fair shares at its centre. Equity Historically there are many communities with inequitable access to shaping and benefitting from the development of systems and resources. This is particularly relevant considering how climate change is disproportionately affecting certain groups. Inequities have been further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inequality of access, overconsumption and a variety of cultural, social and political biases and injustices exist, and have an impact on social management via lockdowns. Lockdowns have had a significant feedback effect on planetary health and disproportionality affecting groups already marginalised. The PAB is committed to providing equitable access to its services and activities. What have we done so far? Complimentary membership We offer complimentary memberships to people from marginalised communities who would like to learn more about permaculture. If you are interested in a complimentary membership, please get in touch with [email protected] for more information. Thriving Communities project Read about our Thriving Communities project where we produced 10 detailed case studies which explaon how these projects engage with their communities how permaculture helps, and what additional support they feel would be most useful. Read more about Thriving Communities Permaculture Education Access to education is so important - our online course team have centred equitable opportunities for marginalised groups. Equalities monitoring for online learning Bursary places - We continually seek funding to give away free places to people who are ethnically and culturally diverse, and who experience racism in our society. Positive discrimination and anti-racism materials through our Growing Food In Small Spaces course JEDAI subcomittee We have a board level committee is responsible for engaging with different stakeholder groups to understand barriers facing different groups in permaculture and the Permaculture Association. With this understanding, we can then help to reduce those barriers and ensure that permaculture is truly welcoming, diverse and inclusive. Bursary places We provide bursaries for national and regional events as well as reduced price tickets for carers. We partner with other projects to offer bursary places for specific project events and work to promote these places directly into the communities that need them most. Overcoming Barriers in Permaculture Launched July 2023, we are running a series of listening sessions to understand people's experiences first hand. Earth care, people care, and fair share is for everyone. A permanent culture needs to be fully inclusive to remove systemic oppression, and violence against nature, and people. PAB wants to help create that world but we have to model the kind of future we want to create so that everyone feels welcome at PAB. We need to listen, learn and understand other people's perspectives to understand barriers. Through that dialogue, we can understand and then shift the culture to better reflect a more harmonious society. A diverse staff team We have redesigned our recruitment process to make the application forms more accessible, and we proactively advertise in places where candidates from diverse backgrounds will be searching. Core members of our existing team are undertaking Whiteness training, using the ‘Me and My White Supremacy Handbook’. e can understand and then shift the culture to better reflect a more harmonious society. What are we doing about it? Work within the permaculture network A more radical approach to education may be needed, such as the pedagogy of the oppressed approaches that work with marginalized groups. Bring politics into permaculture more and work to broaden people’s understanding of what permaculture is and can be. Change / add to the conversation in the wider permaculture network to make sure marginalised voices are heard and not shut down. Use this as an opportunity to increase people’s design skills and knowledge: making designs accessible to all socially / economically. Directly address the issue of access to permaculture education: overcome barriers of time and cost. Work within the Permaculture Association Secure funds to ensure that the people that contribute to this work are recompensed. Review the Permaculture Association as an organisation: auditing our processes, recruitment, wording, reviewing projects and activities. Capacity building support to increase voices, confidence and leadership across the network. Create an open forum for practitioners working to increase diversity in permaculture. Develop a training for members on privilege, equity, diversity. Continue to increase diversity at events. Continue with bursaries and develop further strategies. Linked to increasing the diversity of our membership. Plan to increase diversity of membership, staff and of the Board of Trustees. This will need proactive work to reach new audiences, make time for outreach, secure funds for bursaries. Conversation is key. We need to make time to find out what people need and to understand barriers to participation. Work with people to create solutions and the support that is needed to get involved. Active collection and sharing of stories where equity and diversity in permaculture is being increased and developed. Pay practitioners for time to engage with the communications work. Make sure that permaculture language is made accessible and connect in appropriate ways for different groups. Stress and restate the connection and respect for indigenous knowledge that is part of permaculture’s approach.