Welcome! You have found your way into the middle of a discussion of the experiences of people of color in primarily white meditation communities. To access the beginning of this thread, click here. Otherwise, please read on.
Promoting Equity and Inclusion
Thankfully, ECMC has improved its equity and inclusion policies and culture in the past ten years. They have instituted diversity committees and empowered them with some degree of influence. They have invited and trained teachers of color. They have provided institutional support for the POC sangha. They have instituted a white awareness training, which seeks to awaken white people in the community to the dynamics of race, racism, and privilege. And they have created a culture where there seems to be an increasing willingness to have difficult conversations around race.
As one participant put it:
It seemed like they were willing to make some investments that seemed a little bit different in terms of having conversations around real change. Having some time pass I was able to distill some of my analysis a little bit differently too. And they were like, "We value your insight – not only your personal insight but your analysis – as a consultant. We will pay you to show up in this space.” That's different from before.
Many credit Jayla Braun, the founder and head teacher, with much of this progress.
Quite frankly, we wouldn't be doing this if not for Jayla. She's just so committed to it. She's been a model of this willingness to have these conversations. To sit there and be in difficult interactions and listen as people say how bad it was. But again, just keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. So really that kind of leader taking up the mantle and saying this is important, that's huge.
For other themes, click on the links below.
- Interpersonal Barriers to Full Participation
- Institutional Barriers to Full Participation
- Strategies for Coping with Racialized Exclusion
- Range of POC Experiences
- Failures of Leadership Support for People of Color
- Promoting Equity and Inclusion
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