Spurred by an unsettling stream of videos of police officers killing unarmed persons of color in 2014, SnowFlower member Heather Mann gave a Dharma talk on the issue of Diversity within our own sangha. She asked us to look deeply as to whether persons of all identities and abilities would find our SnowFlower to be a safe and welcoming spiritual home. In answer to her call and the offers of sangha members to help with such an inquiry, SnowFlower created a special committee to study and report on Diversity. After months of meetings and research, the Committee submitted its Report and Recommendations to the Steering Council, our sangha’s governing body.
It also created this list of diversity resources. This page is intended as a repository of resources that can help to promote a deeper understanding of what diversity can mean for us, as members of SnowFlower Sangha.
- Project Implicit – This is a resource aimed at helping us better understand the social conditioning present in our consciousness but of which we may still be unawares. For background on the test, see this excerpt from American Denial, a documentary about bias in America that aired on PBS’s Independent Lens program.
- The Plum Village Racial Equity Sangha
- Trainings of the Mind in Diversity
- Buddhists for Racial Justice
- White Awake
Take the racial literacy quiz. See Toolbox with low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk “engagement games” to use with groups.
- Race Matters and More Race Matters Toolkits: Annie E. Casey Foundation
This toolkit is designed to help decision-makers, advocates, and elected officials get better results in their work by providing equitable opportunities for all. The toolkit presents a specific point of view on addressing unequal opportunities by race and offers simple, results-oriented steps to help you achieve your goals. Also see the companion series, MORE Race Matters. These publications serve to complement the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Matters Toolkit by providing users with additional guidelines, tips and additional tools.
- Project NIA
Launched in 2009 in Chicago, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. Project is based on the belief that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. A 350 page downloadable curriculum is available on the site. Can be used with kids or adults and includes sessions on racism and privilege.
- We Need to Talk About an Injustice
A moving and powerful 23 minute TED talk by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, about why black incarceration in the U.S. should be the key burning issue in the US.Required viewing.
- In Defense of a Loaded Word
An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates in Sunday Review Section of New York Times, 11/25/13. Very nuanced analysis of the different perspectives on use of the forbidden word, and an argument why black people should be able to use it.
- A public service announcement from lovehasnolabels.com
A group helping individuals overcome their implicit biases
- How Racist Are We? Ask Google
Interesting article tracing what percentage of votes Obama lost in 2008 due purely to racial antagonism.
- The Center for the Healing of Racism
- Love Has No Labels
A group that helps address implicit bias.
- Real Refuge: Building Inclusive and Welcoming Sanghas
An online retreat from August, 2013 led by East Bay Meditation Center’s Mushim Patricia Ikeda and sponsored by Tricycle Magazine (please note that you may need to be a subscriber to the magazine in order to access the retreat).
- Life Cycles of Inequity
A Colorlines.com, multiple part series concerning the lives of black men.
- Healing Our Nation
- The Insight Meditation Society: Diversity Resources
(the content of which has been incorporated into this list)
- PBS: Race: The Power of an Illusion
This is an excellent 3 part documentary from 2003 which can be purchased from California Newsreel, and is in some county libraries. Of great value is the online companion to the series, “Background Readings” which provides access to about 15 articles each on Society, History, and Science, all related to the topic and which can be read online. See especially: 1) Interview with Beverly Daniel Tatum under the Society section; 2) “Racial Preferences for Whites: The Houses that Racism Built,” a short Op/Ed piece by Larry Adelman.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross 2013
Multi part documentary by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Check libraries and future PBS.
- Slavery by Another Name 2012
Traces the 80 years of involuntary labor in the North and the South that followed the end of slavery through the ever-inventive creation of new “crimes” like vagrancy and long prison sentences which led to decades of forced labor. Available for $19.95 from PBS documentaries
- Frontline: Two Nations of Black America
1998 documentary by Henry Gates Jr, tracing the rise of some blacks and the social fall of others. $19.99 from PBS.
The House I Live In, video version of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, with some new twists. Was aired on PBS.
- Beyond Hate (1991)
Bill Moyers. (87 minutes) Excellent examination of why and who we hate, and discussion of what hate does to us and for us. Should be available in most libraries or can be purchased on amazon.
- Unnatural Causes (2008)
Acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS and now used to tackle the root causes of our alarming socio-economic and racial inequities in health. The four-hour series crisscrosses the nation uncovering startling new findings that suggest there is much more to our health than bad habits, health care, or unlucky genes. The social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses. Total of 4 hours, consisting of 7 segments:
- In Sickness and In Wealth
(56 min.) How does the distribution of power, wealth and resources shape opportunities for health
- When the Bough Breaks
(29 min.) Can racism become embedded in the body and affect birth outcomes?
- Becoming American
(29 min.) Latino immigrants arrive healthy, so why don’t they stay that way?
- Bad Sugar
(29 min.) What are the connections between diabetes, oppression, and empowerment in two Native American communities?
- Place Matters
(29 min.) Why is your street address such a strong predictor of your health? (This episode is available as a stand-alone DVD with English, Lao, Hmong, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Cantonese audio, as well as English and Mandarin subtitles.)
- Not Just a Paycheck
(30 min.) Why do layoffs take such a huge toll in Michigan but cause hardly a ripple in Swede
- A Forgotten Injustice
A documentary about deportation of two million Mexican -Americans during the great depression of 1930’s. Available on Youtube
- A Girl Like Me
Kiri Davis (7min15)
- Together We Are One: Honoring Our Diversity, Celebrating Our Connection by Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo williams and Lama Rod Owens with Jasmine Syedullah.
- Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community, Larry Yang (2017)
- Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity by Tim Wise,
Available in paper or in a lecture form. Wise, a well-respected white author writing on racism, argues against color blindness and for a deeper color consciousness in both public and private practice. See also White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to New Minority addressing the sources of white anxiety, the rise of the Tea Party, and racial nostalgia.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander,
2010, now available in paperback. This highly praised but demanding book is the “bible” of the prison transformation movement. It includes essential history of the last century and especially the last 30 years, explaining the origins of the drug war.
- Just Mercy; A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson,
Heroic and inspiring account of the extraordinary achievements of this black lawyer fighting the brutalities of the justice system and death penalty in Alabama. His commitment has led to several crucial Supreme Court cases . Suspenseful attempt to save America’s soul.
- The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson (Random House 2010).
- The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, Edward E. Baptist (Basic Books 2014.)
- Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
Change Work 2001. See article on ”White Supremacy Culture”. This work discusses “white” characteristics embedded in our organizations that may make some people of color uncomfortable, like perfectionism, worship of the written word, fear of open conflict, either/or thinking.
- Lies my Teacher Told Me: James Loewen.
“Everything your American History Teacher Got Wrong!”
- Illegal: Peter Geniesse
Documents the struggles of people from Mexico trying to enter the U.S.
- More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner Cities. Available on amazon.
- Racial Healing: The Institutes for the Healing of Racism, Newkirk Reginald and Nathan Rutstein,
National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism, 2000 Albion, Michigan.
- Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice, Paul Kivel,
New Society Publishers, 2002 Gabriola Island, B.C. (rev. ed.)
- White Like Me, Tim Wise,
Soft Skull Press, Distributed by Publishers Group West, 2005, Brooklyn NY.
- Making the Invisible Visible, Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities
- Understanding the Impact of Prejudice and Race: A Handbook for Overcoming Racism, Rita Starr
- Dharma, Color, and Culture, Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquin, ed.
- Dreaming Me, Janice Willis
- Meeting Faith, Faith Adiele
- Ain’t I A Woman, bell hooks
- A Polite Apartheid, Today’s Hidden Racism, Dave Lekowith and A.J. Nino Amato
(Foundation to End Polite Apartheid, 2001).
- American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World, David E. Stannard
- Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, Tom Burrell
- Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, Juan Gonzalez
- The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism, Rosalind S. Chou and Joe Feagin
- Yes! Magazine, “How to Make it Right”, at 17-48 (Summer 2015 ed.)
- The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Never Say Nigger Again, M. Gainda Burton (James C. Winston Publishing 1995).
- The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau (July 14, 2015).
- The Case for Reparations, Atlantic Magazine, Ta-Nehisi Coates and narrative bibliography
- Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, Janet Mock (2014.)
- Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, Willy Wilkinson (2015)
- Developing Trans Competence: A Short Guide to Improving Transgender Experiences at Meditation and Retreat Centers
- Trans Allyship Workbook: Building Skills to Support Trans People in Our Lives, Davy Shlasko, (2017)
- Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community, Larry Yang (2017)
- Facing My White Privilege, Tara Brach, Lionsroar.com, June 22, 2016.
- Buddhist Leader Discusses Turning Faith Into Action to Support LGBT Rights Human Rights Campaign, May 8, 2015 (last visited 6/24/15).
- SGI & Diversity
This is an interview with a Buddhist practitioner in South Africa talking about racial diversity. A group that seems slightly more “evangelical” in its bent.
Workshops/Dharma Talks/Dharma Teachers
- Madison Wisconsin Institute for the Healing of Racism, Inc.
UW Madison Professor Davis offers 10-week classes that review videos and books designed to help identify, reduce and eliminate implicit racial bias in our society (all are welcome to participate; a nominal fee of $20 is requested). Current and former class participants may also join a Book and Video Club to discuss books and videos on the theme of racism.
- Reflections on Race and Diversity
A talk by Joseph Goldstein, IMS (December 2014)
- Dukkha: Focus on People of Color
A dharma talk given by Bonnie Duran, IMS (June 2012)
- Diverse World, Diverse Sangha
A dharma talk with Gina Sharpe and Larry Yang, IMS (June 2010)
- Beloved Community
A dharma talk by Tara Brach, June 17, 2015. A transcript is available through WhiteAwake.org’s website
- The Venerable Dr. Pannavati
- Ruth King
- Groundwork Madison provides debiasing training.
- Richard Davis – Madison Wisconsin Institute for the Healing of Reacism, Inc.
- UW Continuing Studies: Honoring Our Common Differences: Leadership for Inclusivity course
- YWCA Madison – Racial Justice Online Course
- YWCA Madison – Racial Justice Workshops
- YWCA Madison – Racial Justice Summit