Limited funded places on our upcoming Design for Resilience courses.
Permaculture is based on an explicit 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.
The Permaculture Association 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.
During this clear time of pain for black communities amplified by COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions, we understand we need to do more to fulfil our equal opportunities policy.
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.
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.
We gave away some free places to people who are ethnically and culturally diverse, and who experience racism in our society to help us test and refine our first online course during development. But it is clear that more needs to be done. We want to engage with all communities and to offer equitable opportunities for education. We want to support more communities to use permaculture to design for resilience.
Integrate rather than segregate
For this reason, we applied for funding. SHED offered funding for BAME learners for bursary places on our upcoming course - Design for Resilience. This is a full teacher led bursary place on an online course. It includes a year's membership to the Permaculture Association to more thoroughly engage with and influence the permaculture community and the Permaculture Association. Find out what is included in membership here.
We will work with our applicants to find out more about their needs, including a suitable date for them to engage with the teacher-led sessions. We’ll use feedback from these learners to further improve the course for people who are ethnically and culturally diverse, and who experience racism in our society by identifying and addressing any shortcomings.
We will be seeking funding to offer more bursary places to other disadvantaged or marginalised groups, such as those with disabilities, single parents and very low or no income. But it is clear to us that intersectionality (for example, the overlapping issues of race, low income and lack of opportunity), plays a huge role in preventing equity. This is just one step in addressing this.
Currently we have funding for 42 bursary places, to be allocated across several courses over the next 2 years.
If you would like to donate or you are a funder who would like to fund more places please get in touch -
To contact us about anything in this statement, please www.permaculture.org.uk/contact
To apply for a bursary place on the course, please contact [email protected] with a short statement about why you would benefit from the course, to support us to allocate these places fairly. This statement will be strictly confidential and deleted after your place has been allocated.
To read the story of our Online Learning Platform, visit - blog.permaculture.org.uk/articles/story-our-online-learning-platform
To view our courses, visit - learn.permaculture.org.uk