If you’re wondering why we are talking about equity at Shelburne Farms, what equity looks like in our organization, or how we are pursuing that goal, we’re glad you’re here.

Sustainability is at the heart of Shelburne Farms. It’s what we practice, pursue, and learn about every day. Justice, equity, and access are central to this sustainability goal. It’s that simple. So we are committed to translating these values of justice, equity, and access into action across the organization, into our culture, programs, and services. We are working to create a place and experiences where everyone feels like they belong, including historically marginalized communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and people of all economic realities.

Entrance to a school
Entrance to Sustainability Academy

“Sustainability is another word for justice—for what is just is sustainable and what is unjust is not." 

Matthew Fox. Quote painted on the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington, VT, one of our partner schools.

This work is never easy or linear in a complex and evolving world; there are rarely boxes to check “done.” And Shelburne Farms has its unique challenges, like any organization. We know that our buildings and landscape reflect a complex legacy of economic and racial privilege that doesn’t always feel welcoming. The systems of advantage that supported the creation of the agricultural estate in the 1880s persist today. There are puzzles and paradoxes here, but we believe that our work today calls us to use our resources in the service of justice and equity at Shelburne Farms and beyond. 

As you explore our website, join us for a program, or visit our campus, you may notice some of our steps towards equity and inclusion. We hope you’ll feel that you belong here. You do. And we hope that you’ll tell us when we misstep. Because we do, and we will; and that’s how we learn—together.