Dear Portland Plant Medicine Community,
As the organizer of this conference, I would like to acknowledge recent events at the Plant Medicine Gathering in November. There were some valid concerns in classes in regards to cultural appropriation and I know that feelings were hurt. I want to sincerely apologize for any inappropriate behavior and any harm done.  
This conference will continue to be dedicated to anti-oppression.  We are dedicated to centering BIPOC voices and aim to make this as safe a space as possible for all marginalized folks.  
Moving forward, I am listening to your feedback and making changes. These will be happening immediately and throughout this year and will also be implemented at next year's conference.  
Some of these changes include:
  • Creating a Portland Plant Medicine Board to advise on issues pertaining to the intersection of herbalism and oppression; to ensure teachers are in alignment with the values of PPMG; to continue to support a diverse community where all learners feel welcome and included. 
  • Developing a more thorough screening process of potential teachers. 
  • Offering inclusion and diversity training to prospective teachers. 
With full awareness that we live in a white supremacist patriarchal culture and that the practice of herbalism in this country historically has been represented through a European lens, this conference does not support or tolerate cultural appropriation, racism, sexism, fatfobia, homophobia, or any forms of oppression. This gathering aims to create a space outside of this culture where diversity is welcomed and celebrated.  
Thank you for your continuous support. I see this as a challenging opportunity to grow and stand more centered in my integrity and intention. As a white skinned, Jewish, queer person I wish to do my best to dismantle white supremacy and be an ally to the marginalized people in this community and beyond.   
With love,
Nicole Pepper 
conference organizer