October 9 Webinar: Inclusive Gender Identity from POC Perspectives

In Events by buddhist center7 Comments

The next NABA webinar on gender and race will be October 9th, Monday, 4 to 6 PM PDT / 7 to 9 PM EDT.

Significantly more LGBTQI adults identify themselves to be persons of color, making gender identity an even more critical issue among POCs and POC Buddhists. Gender identity and race intersect in ways that are more relevant for the marginalized, for those confronted with hatred and supremacy, and among Buddhist sanghas than many of us realize. For those immersed in the realities of these issues and for allies interested in learning more about ways to support those with non-dominant gender and racial identities, our esteemed presenters Dr. Kamilah Majied and Gretchen Rohr will lead this interactive session.

Please RSVP here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/7d4da70139aad0dd7c24e00bf0acd2b8

Gretchen Rohr is founder of Justice in Balance, a restorative justice forum dedicated to reconciling communities impacted by violence. She served as a magistrate judge at the D.C. Superior Court. 

Kamilah Majied, Ph.D. is an educator, researcher, clinician and internationally recognized expert on oppression as it impacts mental health and social functioning. Her clinical work centers on using mindfulness-based approaches and other Buddhism based interventions to improve individual mental health as well as family and community wellness. Her scholarship examines racism, homophobia, heterosexism and other oppressions, particularly as they impact people of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people. Dr. Majied’s areas of specialization include grief and loss and addressing the mental health challenges faced by stigmatized populations. As a consultant she works to make health and human service agencies more sensitive to the needs of minority populations and more culturally competent with regard to service delivery. She has successfully assisted various domestic and international organizations in developing programming that welcomes and supports diversity and addresses disparities. She is an author of multiple publications on cultural competence, education and mental health. Dr. Majied serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Howard University in Washington DC.


Meanwhile view available webinar videos at NABA's Youtube channel.

Please subscribe for future videos.
These multimedia presentations will join the growing list of Buddhists for Racial Justice resources.

Thank you so much to all those who joined the 2017 webinars thus far!

The following are some comments on the webinars:

“So thankful for this webinar!”
“Thank you all for an insightful discussion! I have/am learning to soften my approach."
“‘Distance and shame from their cultural and family practices’ << Strongly resonate with this. In trying to understand and reconcile what I was learning in school with what I was experiencing at home, I distanced myself from the ‘folk’ practices and have been following along with English-speaking white Buddhist authorities’ definitions of Buddhism.”
“Thank you so much, Dr. Hsu!”
“Thank you! Very informative.”
“Thank you so much for this presentation!”
“What support can an African American Buddhist give to those of you who are in this call?”
“Longer, harder, more complex conversations. But because of the history of racialization (and being model minority etc.). . . I as an Asian American sometimes feel equally self-conscious in ‘POC’ designated spaces as I do in white spaces. So feeling included/visible as Asian American is work all of us can work to make happen.”
“Thank you for allowing us to listen so we can understand.”
“I would like to know how I can support African American Buddhists, as a queer Asian American Buddhist.”
“It's really heartening to see intersectionality!”
“Thank you everyone for taking this time to be together!”
“Deep thanks, Guo Cheen, and NABA!”
“Thank you Funie, Guo Cheen, and everyone for being here and sharing space!”
“No one person/group ‘gets’ to liberation unless everyone can go.”

Invisibility and issues within the regional Mahasangha are unearthed as learning happens. The recent NABA webinar on Recentering Asian Americans into American Buddhism with Dr. Funie Hsu, a professor of American Studies at San Jose State University and a devoted Buddhist since a young age, surfaced problems with online intimidation and threats toward outspoken Asian American Buddhists including Dr. Hsu. Targeting or censoring Buddhists of color is happening as we speak and NABA’s Buddhists for Racial Justice initiative plans to share the necessary training material and resources, to coalesce Buddhist communities against racially-motivated harassment and support around those being targeted.

Featured Teachers Webinar on Race and Gender in a New Era:
For Asian American Buddhists, a pan-sectarian, sacred spaces are very much needed. The power dynamic of white supremacy in American Buddhism is such that rendering Asian American Buddhists invisible serves as the very mechanism that also hides the fact of white domination and appropriation, under the guise of “common-sense” objective neutrality. More than simple inclusion politics, the issue of Asian and Asian American Buddhists erasure from the history and contemporary landscape of American Buddhism evidences a pattern of epistemological hegemony that traces back to European imperial conquest. This webinar is a means of moving the American Buddhist community forward towards liberation from the hegemony of white supremacy, and towards more honest dialogue about appropriation and erasure of Asian and Asian American Buddhist histories and communities.

Re-centering Asian American Buddhists in American Buddhism
This webinar will provide a brief discussion of race and American Buddhism, focusing on the historical exclusion of Asian American Buddhists. Starting with a brief discussion of Asian immigration to the U.S. and the development of the first Buddhist communities, the webinar will detail how mainstream American society used Buddhism to label Asian and Asian American Buddhists as un-American and perpetually foreign. It will then discuss how this dominant narrative has negatively shaped conversations about American Buddhism and to dismiss the historical contributions of Asian American Buddhists. Finally, it concludes with some ideas for how to re-center Asian American Buddhists in meaningful ways.

June 25th Sunday 1 - 3 PM PDT / 4 - 6 PM EDT with Dr. Funie Hsu and others.

Dr. Funie Hsu, PhD, works as an assistant professor of American Studies at San Jose State University
and also serves on the board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Here is her recent article on recognizing Asian American Buddhists' contribution and responses to it.




A new era is dawn, Buddhist pioneers leading the way in ethnic diversity and gender equality in the West
such as Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo and Venerable Pannavati
will kick off the 2017 NABA teachers webinar series.

Please reserve February 25th, 2017, Saturday 1 to 3 PM PST as the first in this teachers series.
Register for upcoming presentation and dialogue here.
NABA's series of Buddhist women teachers will share their perspectives on these and other questions:
  • How does the perpetually discriminating mind refrain from discrimination that results in unequal treatment or results?
  • How does a Buddhist woman or person of color refrain from defending a person or group while attempting to bring about inherent kindness in many?
  • How does a Buddhist woman or man of privilege learn to become more inclusive while examining the false self?
  • How do Buddhist women and persons of color help with tense relationships throughout the region recently and in the future?
  • What contributions would you expect Buddhists to make in the face of hostility toward women or particular racial/ethnic groups?

Please send your comments and questions to Info@NorthAmericanBuddhistAlliance.org

Venerable Lekshe

Karma Lekshe Tsomo is an ordained nun, scholar, social activist. She teaches Buddhism and World Religions at the University of San Diego, directs Jamyang Foundation (www.jamyang.org), and is busy organizing the 2017 Sakyadhita Conference of International Buddhist Women (www.sakyadhita.org). For the last 30 and more years, she has been educating and actively bringing about equality in the Buddhist world.


Venerable Pannavati

Ven. Dr. Pannavati is Co-Abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage and co-founder of  Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center. An African-American Buddhist monastic, she is both contemplative and engaged holding cross-lineage ordination in Theravada and Mahayana, while being a Vajrayana practitioner and Zen Peacemaker. An international teacher who advocates on behalf of disempowered women and youth globally, she upholds equality and respect in Buddhist life for both female monastics and the lay sangha. She has received several Outstanding Buddhist Women’s awards, a special commendation from the Princess of Thailand for Humanitarian Acts, assisted in the ordinations of the first 35 Thai Bhikkhunis on Thai soil with bhikkhu consensus and inducted the 35 women into the Sisters of Compassionate Wisdom American order of Bhikkhunis; ordained the first Tamili Dalit (“Untouchable”) nun, convened a platform with Cambodian Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis to give temporary ordination to 13 Cambodian women in the US and has adopted 10 “untouchable” villages in India (approximately 30,000 people), helping them cultivate Buddhist principles of conduct and livelihood, providing wells, books, teachers and micro-loans for women.  In 2016, she received a Global Bhikkhuni Award in Taiwan and has accepted a seat on the World Bhikkhuni Association’s governing council.




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