We founded The Exchange in 2011 as a multicultural community organization, dedicated to removing the barriers of ‘othering’ that exist between people, while supporting a restorative-healing approach to land, food, and community — one that recognizes the interconnectedness of all people.
The Exchange operates from High Hog Farm, our small family farm located in Gwinnett County, GA. The farm manages livestock as well as produces fiber, poultry, meat, eggs, milk, herbs, perennial fruits, and vegetables on a small scale, along with a variety of value-added products for the surrounding community.
Our commitment is to nurture the whole person and their relationship between the earth, self, other, and society. We offer hospitality and education for all who seek to be better versions of themselves as well as become positive agents for change — breaking down barriers and engendering hope.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We honor the fundamental dignity, sovereignty and unalienable, natural rights of all people.
We believe in challenging the systems and structures that oppress, deny, and destroy all people’s dignity and humanity.
We honor the knowledge of First Peoples’, our elders and the histories of our communities.
We seek to hear their voices and stories, to inform us of how to best do our work.
We are committed to building a community in which all share in a sense of place and belonging. For us, community-building is a shared endeavor and we do not believe that everyone who comes to take part in this offering must or should look, believe, or practice what we do or as we do. We aim only to be transparent in our motivations and intentions, and share our understanding of the things we aspire to as a community.
We are intentional in what we do, and recognize that we are all imperfect beings who will make mistakes – ones that may lead to offense.
We therefore believe and practice reconciliation and restoration as an ongoing process to move our work forward. We also work to honor and hold one another accountable for both the intention and impact of our words and actions.
We choose to engage rather than retreat, pausing when necessary to create space for health and healing, choosing to remember to communicate, cooperate, collaborate, and trust.
We create this welcoming and affirming place as an offering to help grow and sustain one another:
- We do this through working side by side with intergenerational leaders to tend the earth
- We do this through art, music, storytelling, and various other creative expressions
- We do this through the acts of service to one another and through the breaking of bread and sharing meals
- We do this through reading, studying, and practicing our ongoing education
- But mostly, we do this through active listening, learning, and loving – the kind that comes in the form of compassion, empathy, hard work, mindfulness, and forgiveness