Who we are
Growers of food and relationships who listen to and observe our surroundings to inform our work from the root up. Our surroundings include the natural and built environments, our community and institutional partners, our neighbors, one another, and the movements to dismantle white supremacy and its accompanying oppressive structures, dehumanizing practices, and inequitable policies.
Stewards of the Indigenous territories that make up Greater Philadelphia. Through deceptive treaties like The Walking Purchase of 1737, the Lenape were forcibly removed from the land where we presently grow food and community. We recognize these ancestors, their existence prior to European colonization, and the trauma of forced removal and genocide. We also acknowledge the roots of many of our growing practices originating from their wisdom.
Partners collaborating with communities at the intersections of food, health, and the environment. This stolen land carries a legacy of white supremacy: from the enslavement, forced migration, and free agricultural labor of Africans, to the subsequent policies systematically denying their Black descendants access to land, wealth, and health. Through historical and contemporary legalized segregation, the practices of redlining, food apartheid, and environmental racism, the Black and Brown communities with whom we partner in West Philadelphia, Chester, Norristown, and other parts of the region have and continue to experience systemic inequity. We are responsible for understanding this living history in ourselves and the communities in which we partner, and acting in ways that do not perpetuate systems of oppression.
Participants and beneficiaries of an unjust food system historically dependent on enslaved labor, and currently reliant upon the hazardous, exploitative, and low-wage labor of migrants. Our contemporary food system – spanning production, processing, packaging, distribution and marketing, consumption, and waste – is highly industrialized, globalized, white-dominated, and concentrated in the hands of a few. We recognize how we have benefited and perpetuated a white supremacist culture within food system work. And we recognize our agency and responsibility to create solutions for change that reduce harm and advance equity.
Food enthusiasts who delight in cultivating, preparing, and sharing the precious resources gifted by this land. Nourishing food is not a privilege to be enjoyed by a select few; it is a human right to be equitably accessible for all. We relish the opportunity to grow, eat, and share food. This land where we live, work, discover, play, connect, create, and eat has also held rich, liberating, joyful, and transformative movements for social and economic change. We celebrate, lift up, and take heart in these collective actions.
Life-long learners who practice curiosity, humility, and a willingness to be changed. An honest reckoning with our country’s connective tissue – from its history of forced removals, stolen lands, genocide, cultural appropriation, and enslaved and migrant labor, to its struggles for freedom, justice, and equality – is essential to building a just food system. As a predominately white-identifying organization, our learning and UN-learning is continuous, sometimes gradual and sometimes immediate, always necessary, often messy and uncomfortable, and also liberating and joyful. We commit to a lifetime of discovery and learning.
What we Practice
Inclusion – We invite lived experiences, the exchange of food histories, cultural traditions, ideas and approaches. We know we operate at our best through collaboration and partnership.
Diversity – We recognize and celebrate the endless ways in which people grow, share, and eat food, and honor the personal and collective histories that live in those spaces, practices, and traditions.
Equity and Justice – We stand with our community partners and all those who seek to create a more just and equitable world where all living beings are valued, respected, and treated with dignity.
Discovery-based and shared learning – We are learners from and with everyone we encounter. Curiosity is one of our greatest teachers.
Ecological, relational stewardship – We recognize our responsibility as farmers to care for and protect the land and all of its living beings that make up a beautifully complex web of relations. We rely on the strength and wellness of one another and the earth to thrive.
Collaboration – We recognize that food system work is collective work made stronger through a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and ideas.
Intersectionality – We work at the intersection of equity, public health and wellness, and environmental and ecological stewardship. We recognize their interconnectedness and leverage our work as a bridge.
Transparency – We are committed to maintaining open and honest communication about our past, present and future trajectory within our organization and with those whom we partner.
Deep listening – We listen to and observe the world around us. Starting from a place of deep listening invites the possibility of shared understanding and trust.
An inclusive, diverse, and equitable organization that is open, transparent, accessible, and reflective of our partnerships. Programs and practices that are moved and shaped through honoring and inviting a reverence for all life and the diversity of culinary, agricultural, and cultural histories. Our work is living. Our work is constantly growing. And so are we, as an organization, as members of a team, as individuals and as community partners. Working to shift the imbalances of structural inequities through shared learning and equitable access to life-nourishing food that is actively anti-racist.
Our Path Forward
As an organization committed to a more equitable, just, and environmentally sustainable food system, we recognize that our path forward is found not through statements or declarations, but actions. We commit to the following actions:
- A critical assessment of our organizational structure and power, from the composition of our Board of Directors and our positions of leadership, to pathways into and through the organization for new staff members as well as opportunities for the continued growth and advancement for existing staff
- A staff and Board of Directors that is reflective of the diversity of communities with whom we partner and work
- Transparent and equitable hiring practices
- At Greener Partners, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all staff and volunteers, whatever their gender identification, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, or abilities, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.
- A living wage, full benefits, and time off for staff
- Paid internships for youth
- Informed, relevant, and appropriate curriculum that:
- honors diverse food histories, wisdom, and practices
- provides space for shared and reciprocal learning
- is culturally relevant and responsive
- explicitly incorporates the history and legacy of white supremacy in agriculture and the food system
- Individual and collective commitments to investigating, learning, unlearning and dismantling systems of harm and oppression within our work
- Individual and collective commitments to anti-racist actions, policies, and practices within our work