OGS aspires to develop, promote, and sustain an organizational culture that acknowledges, values, and nurtures equity, diversity and inclusion in board, staff, volunteers, audience, leaders, and programs. We define diversity as: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, personality, ability, education, geography, age, experience, values, politics, appearance, religion, mental health, and immigration status.


OGS has made many and will continue to make many mistakes while working on this goal, and we are committed to this ongoing and important work through all of our educational programs through relationship building, partnerships, and policy development, to dismantle injustice in OGS and in the food system for the ultimate goal of food justice for all.


OGS seeks to cultivate a classroom culture of a respectful and reciprocal learning that is non-judgemental and engaging of all people. The following goals and strategies, or “Group Norms”, guide this classroom culture. With your partnership and through your leadership, please set the following goals:


GOAL: All participants have a voice.

  • STRATEGY: W.A.I.T. — WHY AM (or AREN’T) I TALKING — Encourage participants who speak a lot to step back; encourage participants who aren’t speaking to step into the conversation (especially marginalized folks); discourage cross talk, discounting, or talking over others; allow ample time for questions.

GOAL: All participants are deeply heard.

  • STRATEGY: ACTIVE LISTENING –Give your full and heartfelt attention and encourage participants to do the same. 

GOAL: Conflict is an opportunity for deeper understanding.

  • STRATEGY: UNDERSTANDING — Illustrate that the goal is not to agree, but to gain a deeper understanding. It’s okay to respectfully disagree. Welcome all perspectives. Silence does not mean agreement.

GOAL: Everyone takes responsibility for the quality of the conversation.

  • STRATEGY: USE “I” STATEMENTS — Speak from your own experiences and encourage audience members to do the same. Encourage brave and reflective responses.



Author: OGS

Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.