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  • Eleanor Owens

Lack of diverse representation in Horticulture - Black Lives Matter

Updated: Jun 7

In theory, horticulture should celebrate diversity. It's filled with a multitude of people with differing ethnicities, beliefs, gender, age and more.


However the stereotype of a 'gardener' presented to society is always an older, middle-class, white person.


Like us all, I am ashamed and devastated by the murder of George Floyd which, rightly, triggered an international protest. I've spent time educating myself further on the ways in which I can promote anti-racism in the career I chose and the life I lead.


The leading influencers of horticulture that have the largest following are the RHS and Gardener's World. They are both shamefully non-diverse and contribute to systemic racism in UK gardening.


The RHS have ambassadors who aim to "promote horticulture and share the joy of gardening". 7 out of 12 are white men.


Gardener's World have main presenters who appear weekly on the show and in the magazine; they provide "garden inspiration and expert advice" inspiring people to "indulge their passion for gardening". 5 out of 6 are white men.


Where is the representation for people of colour?


It doesn't stop with them; there are many companies, shows and magazines that woe-fully lack diversity. Our industry needs to change immediately and become a place for everyone to feel welcome and heard.


I personally want to commit to continuing my own education, initiating difficult conversations and use my platform to encourage others to do the same. We need to promote black voices in the space we occupy as horticulturists.


Black Lives Matter.



Below are links that we can click to assist the BLM global movement:


1. How to get involved: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co

2. YouTube video celebrating black creators with AdSense being donated to associations helping with bail funds and advocacy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM

3. Petition to introduce teaching the realities of British Colonialism and Imperialism in schools: http://chng.it/LtzFry9LY4

4. Exist Loudly fund for Queer Black Young People in the UK www.gofundme.com/f/exist-loudly-fund-to-support-queer-black-yp?/


Follow these influencers, activists and campaigns on Instagram/Twitter for information, facts and personal experiences:


@nanprize

@WillowherbRvw

@rachel.cargle

@blklivesmatter

@buildingmovementproject

@refinery29uk

@bywomen

@i_weigh

@candicebrathwaite

@pullupforchange

@tamarajadekaz

@grillodesigns

@tanyacompas

@iamjarijones





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