White Awake Affinity Groups

Updated January 8, 2021.

As a community NDF is committed to bringing all aspects of our lives onto the path of liberation. The Inclusion and Equity Committee (IEC) has received numerous requests for guidance and support in continuing to work on issues regarding White Supremacy.

The IEC has been wrestling with how to provide a vehicle for those who explicitly want to bring the Dharma into their experience of White privilege. Our guiding criteria have been that the vehicle must be financially accessible and require as few additional resources as possible from NDF personnel, who are already stretched to near capacity.

White Awake is a spiritually based curriculum that meets these criteria. Anyone can access the materials at no cost, and we hope all those interested will do so. As a first step the IEC decided that we would form a group of practitioners to go through the curriculum together, over the next 6-7 months, as an Affinity Group.

Two White Awake Affinity Groups will begin in January:

  • Fourth Sunday of the month, 2:00–4:00 pm (begins January 24)
  • Fourth Thursday of the month, 5:30–7:30 pm (begins January 28)

If you missed the opportunity to sign up, please contact Carr Robertson about the Sunday group or Susan Malloy about the Thursday group.

Whether or not you can take advantage of these NDF opportunities, the White Awake organization itself has an online class “Before We Were White: Ancestral Recovery for Collective Liberation” beginning on Sunday, January 24 for six weeks from 4:00-6:30 pm.

The IEC will continue to develop vehicles to help the sangha deepen the understanding of racism and the harm it has caused all of our communities. We welcome suggestions and feedback. You can contact us by emailing our current chair using this address: Francine.rainone@gmail.com.

The Reverend angel Kyodo Williams writes:

This is where your liberation is on the line. Many people in positions of dominance don’t know their own story. They don’t know their story in the way that when you’re marginalized, you are forced to know your story, to understand that you have a story, that you’re affected by a larger story, and that you’re working with all of it. When you presume that this is just the way it is, or that you got here on your own strengths, then you don’t recognize that you even have a story.  …Something got stolen from all of us. So you have to have compassion for the voice of the heart that has been lost or obscured, whether in others or in yourself.  …No one escaped—no one. … It is only when you find your story—when you realize the way you think and how you are has been utterly conditioned—that you will understand that even if on the surface you get to do all kinds of things, in truth, you have absolutely no choices at all. … You have a right to reclaim yourself, but you have to do the work of finding out how it is that who you truly are has been obscured.

 

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