From Ginger Webb, herbalist and founder of Sacred Journey School of Herbalism:
Several years ago, at the start of our Level 1 Herbal Foundations course in September, I looked around the room and noticed an unsettling truth: everyone in the class, including myself, was white. “I’ve created a white lady school,” I acknowledged to myself. As a white, cis, middle class woman with plenty of privilege, I humbly realized that I had lost my way, paying lip service to social justice but not making much of a real difference. Time to shift gears.
We began offering scholarships to people of color that year, and in 2018 officially adopted the name “Reparations Scholarships.” I acknowledge that this terminology comes from within the African American community. Other terms may be more appropriate among Latina/o/x people and Indigenous people of this continent. Our intent with the scholarships, however, is to offer access to what we have to offer, i.e. an herbal education, to people who are institutionally oppressed by the system in place because of the color of their skin or their heritage. This includes: (1) African American folks whose ancestors arrived here against their will; (2) people of Indigenous heritage here in North America, including Latina/o/x (whether they identify as indigenous or not) whose ancestral land we live on; and most recently (3) Pacific Islanders/ indigenous Hawaiians, whose ancestral lands were also stolen and colonized by the US government. These scholarships are not intended for (1) white people / people of predominantly European heritage; (2) other non-black, non-indigenous POC from the US; nor (3) POC from outside of the US. [If in doubt, please feel free to ask.]
To apply for a scholarship, we ask only that you tell us about yourself and tell us how much of a scholarship you need to be able to take the course you wish to take. There is no jumping through hoops — we acknowledge that your ancestors already did plenty of that. These scholarships are not “gifts” — they are reparations, however small, but heartfelt from person to person. I understand that the primary reason that I am the one, in front of this class full of people teaching, is because of the privilege afforded to me by the color of my skin and my European heritage, not because I am the best or the brightest. I offer these reparations because it is the right thing to do, and I am grateful to be able to do so.
Applications for scholarships are typically open January through April of each year for Level 1 and Village Herbalist classes beginning in September. Applicants are notified in May.