One Goal, Two Calls: Engaging Buddhists across North America on Racial Justice

In Archive - June 2017 by Guo Cheen1 Comment

North American Buddhist Alliance (NABA) will host two separate calls about racial justice with White Buddhists and Buddhists who are Persons of Color (POC) on May 18, Thursday, from 5 – 7 PM PDT and May 25, Thursday, from 5 – 7 PM PDT, respectively. Please RSVP here.

The first Buddhist delegation to the White House in May 2015 identified two urgent issues for America: 1. climate change, 2. racial justice. Statements were presented to the U.S. Administration about these two critical crises of the times.

As a result, several prominent teachers and leaders from this delegation created Buddhists for Racial Justice and distributed two open letters, one to white Buddhists and one to POC Buddhists, for signatures. More than 1,500 Buddhists endorsed the letters. Buddhists for Racial Justice recognizes that race itself is not biologically real, but a social construction that shapes each of our lives in distinct ways. Ultimately, racism divides us, and that causes loss and pain for everyone. The goal in offering two avenues of resource and support is not to further divide, but to build towards a common vision of justice, equity, mutual respect, and a life affirming society.

Buddhists for Racial Justice recently merged into North American Buddhist Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that shares Dharma resources across Buddhist traditions, aiming to foster inclusive and equitable collaboration, communication, and interaction among Buddhists and Buddhist groups. NABA is hosting a web portal that facilitates racial justice resources to include:
1. Buddhist teachings for individuals to selectively apply as each addresses that discriminating nature within and according to one's relative social position within the context of structural racism.
2. A directory of Buddhist diversity trainers available and a collection of educational multimedia modules such as NABA's webinars on Gender and Race in a New Era.
3. A repository and sharing of collective Buddhist initiatives or actions meant to be antidotes for systemic or structural racism.

As a next step, NABA invites all Buddhists across the region to join this blessed opportunity to connect as a larger collective and intentionally organize ourselves on this profound path to liberation. Let us come together in a Mahasangha that is truly inclusive and through this call to justice we heal, discover, and bridge, thus manifesting a fuller expression of the Buddhadharma.

NorthAmericanBuddhistAlliance.org serves as a supportive network for Buddhists and Buddhist groups across North America and can be followed at @NABAtweets or Facebook. For more information, please contact Guo Cheen at Info@NorthAmericanBuddhistAlliance.org or 253-886-6251.

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