WVC Statement on Racial Justice
The WVC was founded in 2008 to amplify the voices of all women in psychedelic communities. Our gatherings were created because we saw that psychedelic conferences and other events did not fairly represent women or recognize their work.
We also see the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the U.S. and other countries are disrespected and subjected to racist violence, economic and social injustice. We oppose systemic racism. Black Lives Matter and all of us must act.
Before the murder of George Floyd sparked the present social justice movement, the WVC aspired to be allies to BIPOC. We provided grants to Black led projects and created a platform for BIPOC speakers at our events.
At our 2019 Women’s Visionary Congress in Oakland, nine of the twenty-one speakers were women of color and one was a man of color. The audience was the most diverse of all our previous events.
The women who created the 2019 Women’s Congress: our stage manager, caterer, web mistress, and half our registration and security team were also BIPOC. We are honored to work with them.
As our speakers, collaborators and WVC members have become more diverse, we have covered a broader range of topics and supported deeper conversations about representation, white supremacy, history, and healing with plant medicines.
And yet we recognize that these actions are not enough. We must do more. The WVC board is made up of entirely white women. Two BIPOC women recently joined our board to work with us and help guide the future of our community.
Although we started each day at our 2019 Women’s Congress with clear ground rules and set the intention of holding a safe space, several white attendees asked offensive questions during Q&A. Our response as organizers were not clear, swift, or thorough enough.
We are now developing clearer rules of conduct and practices for how to respond when our community agreements are not respected. We are also working with women of color in our community to create secure and respectful online forums so that we can continue to gather and exchange ideas safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are committed to creating a more inclusive and comfortable environment for BIPOC and move beyond biases, tokenism or superficial conversations about diversity, appropriate and safe spaces.
We understand that developing racial justice within the WVC and other psychedelic communities is a continuous process.
We will re-evaluate ourselves as we move through this journey. We will also keep fighting against racist drugs laws and raise awareness about cultural appropriation of indigenous communities.
We invite you to join us as we continue to aspire to allyship to support just and equitable systems and institutions - and establish meaningful and accountable relationships with people and communities that face injustice.
Board of Directors
Women’s Visionary Council