Black history month is about celebrating Black culture, beauty, creativity, resilience and so much more. Today, we turn the lens to amplify the work of Shantae Johnson and Arthur Shavers, founders of Mudbone Grown.
Mudbone was a featured nonprofit for our Work Out Give Back series last fall. Shantae and Arthur were able to join us virtually to share about Mudbone’s work. Actions speak louder than words and there are two things that we feel tell their true story.
1) During the virtual event on Sunday morning at 9 a.m., Arthur and Shantae zoomed in to share highlights of their work with our group. Their entire family was busy delivering food boxes and our conversation took place while they were en route making sure families had a box leading into the Thanksgiving holiday.
2) Their work and story were so inspiring that one of the attendees at the workout reached out to us the next day to match what was raised, doubling the impact of the event.
Shantae and Arthur are creating history in Portland through their incredible work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the deep inequities Black Oregonians have experienced for generations. In response to the harm done by racism and the oppression of Black people, Mudbone Grown has created Solidarity Love Shares for Black Families that provides healthy and fresh food to Black families who need it. Since the start of June 2020 they were able to feed over 400 families with the produce they grew plus additional pantry staples and household items, as well as herbs, self care products and additional resources.
Financial support helps Mudbone to:
-Employ and maintain Black farmers for the growing season and off-season at a living wage ($20 an hour).
-Deliver food boxes of vegetables, herbs and fruit to dozens of families.
-Develop and train another generation of Black farmers.
-Build up staffing off the farm to help manage what happens on the farm
-Develop a greenhouse management program for justice impacted youth. Learn more (PDF flyer link)
As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to first and foremost acknowledge that Black history month is about Black history. It is about amplifying and bringing to the forefront accomplishments and gifts that haven’t gotten adequate attention.
For our part, we want to take this opportunity to restate our vow to do better for Black lives among us. We’re committed to doing everything we can to strive for equity for all of us. If we want to create true change, we have to do things differently. It is simply not enough to be open-and-loving-to-all, personally. We must, as a corporate citizen, be part of the solution to acknowledge the history our country was built on, and create opportunities to begin to right the wrongs of those before us.
Here’s our roadmap to doing our part and progress we’ve made since June 2020.
We’re committed to supporting organizations working for racial justice and social equality. It was our honor to help raise more than $2,000 for Mudbone Grown through our Work Out Give Back event last fall.
Please join us in supporting Black owned Portland brands and businesses. Here’s a list curated by Portland Monthly.
Educate and amplify
As leaders, we’ve personally invested in our own education through books and podcasts. Here are some of our favorites.
Nonfiction: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall, How to Be Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, Purpose of Power by Alicia Garza, Becoming by Michelle Obama. Plus here’s a special Black History page on Powells.com.
Podcasts: Brene Brown has been doing diversity, equity and inclusion teaching and research for years. Both her Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us podcasts are a wealth of information. In particular, her recent episodes with Aiko Bethea and Dr. Sarah Lewis were insightful and inspirational. And of course The Michelle Obama Podcast is a favorite and true gem.
The best way forward is together
We’re learning. And these are our first steps. It will take a village and us all working together to make real change and progress. We’d love to learn from you. If you have thoughts or ideas you’d like to share, be it things your business has done or things you see we could do better, we’d love to listen.
At Hyatt Training you’ll find more than a good sweat. Our core values guide each decision we make every day. We’re passionate about what happens outside the walls of the studio in our community at large in Portland and Oregon. One of our core values is to connect with and do our part to keep Oregon a vibrant place to live, work and be healthy. To learn more about what we’re all about or how we could help you, email us at Go@HyattTraining.com.