Anti-Racism Solidarity Statement

Black Lives Matter

We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  We support the liberation of all marginalized people and beings on this planet who suffer under our broken systems that value profit, competition, and domination, and require exploitation to maintain the status quo.  In this moment, the plight of our Black and Brown siblings is at the front of our minds as we humbly listen to their voices calling for change, and we align our work with these calls.

We are located in Wabanaki Territory, today known as Maine, on land that was never ceded to European settlers. As Maine "celebrates" the 200th anniversary of statehood this year, we at Avena practice truth-telling about the brutal history of colonization here, and commit to supporting the ongoing struggles of the Indigenous peoples of this land for safety and sovereignty.

Maine is one of the "whitest" states in the country, and racism against Black people permeates every system of our society. Several examples of these racial inequities are outlined in the July 2020 letter to Governor Mills from the newly established Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations.  The COVID data for Maine is a stark example: according to the letter, Black and African American people make up more than 23% of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maine, despite making up only 1.4% of the State’s population.

Our daily work at Avena is with healing plants. It is clear that the most needed medicine for this moment is uprooting racism in our individual lives, in our organizations, and in our society, in an ongoing way, down to the very soil.

As a company, we pledge to undergo anti-racism training and devise action steps from the ground of the shared understandings we develop in that work. We promise to practice unarmored listening, to work towards unearthing our complicity in the systems in which we live, and to lift up BIPOC— Black,  Indigenous, and People of Color— voices and needs in our communities.

- Avena Botanicals team, 2020