Good places to start:

  • Race: The Power of An Illusion (California NewsReel). Watching this three part documentary with teachers and/or members of your spiritual community can be a powerful way to build a foundational understanding of how racial dominance has been established and maintained in the United States.
  • A recent publication “Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism” has been eye-opening in deepening awareness and understanding of impact. While targeting White individuals and White group inquiry, Dr. Robin DiAngelo's article is helpful for anyone encountering "white fragility" around race.
  • "Suffering Too Insignificant for the Majority to See": In this groundbreaking talk to participants at the first-ever African-American Buddhist retreat, Alice Walker describes the great toll, both personal and societal, of racism in America, and how Buddhism has helped her heal its wounds.
  • Lion's Roar Discussion with Lama Rod Owens and angel Kyodo williams: Lama Rod and Rev. angel, Sensei, discuss the challenges of being teachers of color in predominantly white communities.

Within our Dharma communities valuable resources in inquiring into racism and white dominance include these relevant talks:

  • “Beloved Community” Tara Brach (IMCW 6/17/15). In this intimate talk, Tara explores the often hidden expressions of racism that fuel separation and violence, and pathways toward healing and freeing our collective hearts.
  • “Exploring Our Belonging and Kinship” Ruth King (IMCW 2/4/15). In this talk Ruth explores the "relative" reality of kinship, compassionately names patterns that harm, and then offers specific mindful exercises that we can use in personal or collective practice to heal and bridge separation.
  • “Reclamation of the Sacred” Thanissara (Spirit Rock 5/5/15) This important talk recognizes causes of collective dislocation, naming colonial devastation and ways towards tenderness.
  • "On the Path of the Beautiful and Beloved Community" Larry Yang (Spirit Rock 1/16/15) In this talk, Larry explores the relationship between our personal practice and our collective experience in the world.

What might structural change look like within our sanghas? One resource for this is the booklet, Making the Invisible Visible (full PDF available on the Spirit Rock website). Making the Invisible Visible is a collection of stories from people of color and their white allies about racism as it manifests in our sanghas. The booklet also includes practical suggestions for changing these dynamics, such as: addressing racism through dharma talks; developing an organizational strategy for inclusion; and working to ensure that people of color hold prominent leadership positions as teachers, board members, and staff.

Resources and Opportunities Lists that are growing:

https://1drv.ms/x/s!ArItBqk9zFs1gaxpyzyBFcjmYhdDMA (downloadable file that includes books and websites right now)

If you would like to contribute to this growing collection and a directory of Buddhist diversity trainers and POC teachers and leaders, please email Info@NorthAmericanBuddhistAlliance.org