A key principle we pride ourselves on as Oryana and as a Cooperative is Education (which appears in our Mission, our Ends Policies, and the Cooperative Principles). We often talk about Education as outward – using our resources to educate and empower people to influence their own health and wellness. But we take inward Education seriously too. We all, as humans, need to be in a constant state of learning and growing – remaining static is not an option. This is one of the reasons why we continually research ingredients, products, and processes and make changes to the products and vendors on our shelves. It is also one of the reasons Oryana has a “Human Development” Department instead of a Human Resources Department. We truly believe that part of our mission is to help develop good humans and this constant state of learning needs to also apply to social issues.
2020 made it clear, yet again, that the work to bring about social justice and equality is far from over and that, if there is any chance of making improvements, all of us need to be self-reflective and action-focused. At Oryana this meant that we needed to refocus and step up our efforts to combat social inequalities wherever Oryana has influence. Last year our organization, at the Board, Management, and Staff levels, began work to specifically address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Here is where we currently stand:
- The Oryana Board of Directors has committed to do this learning. Many Board Members have participated in DEI workshops and have been doing recommended readings as the Board formalizes its learning plans.
- Oryana, as directed and supported by the General Manager, created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force comprised of staff at all levels who are charged with developing a proposed DEI Mission Statement for Oryana. Once approved by the General Manager, the DEI Mission Statement will help to inform the organization’s human development programming and influence buying, and communications, as appropriate and necessary.
We share this with you, this month in particular, because we want to let our Owners, shoppers, and community know that while we will celebrate and share resources for Black History Month, we know that that is not enough. Words need to be underlined with action. While it is happening many times behind the scenes, our work is ongoing and our intention is for it to never stop.
If you are aware of resources that you feel would be helpful, please feel welcome to share them with us. After all, this work will take all of us.
Thank you for your ongoing support and care for our community,