As Dhamma practitioners, we are dedicated to understanding suffering and the end of suffering. The root of suffering is the illusion of a separate, isolated sense of self. Racism is a profound manifestation of the separation between self and other. By creating a separate self, we create an other to defend against and to oppress and control. Healing racism is Dhamma work. We must seek to understand and heal the racism in our own hearts. We must act with wisdom and compassion, confronting and uprooting all aspects of racism. It requires inner transformation and outer action.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society adds our voice to the outrage and heartbreak over the continued violence, prejudice and oppression directed at our BIPOC fellow citizens. While the outrage has a new expression, it is not a new problem. Our BIPOC brothers and sisters live with racism daily; fearing for their lives, struggling against discrimination, and being treated as second-class citizens. The barriers to success and financial stability are real and formidable.
The shock and anger at George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 are waking up a country that too easily forgets the daily oppression and violence that is a fact of life for BIPOC people. Dominant white culture’s comfort and security are deeply entrenched. White supremacy and white fragility must be understood and seen through. We must not and shall not go back to sleep.
Please join us in taking specific concrete steps.
Guiding Teachers and Board of Seattle Insight Meditation Society
Here are resources for both inner transformation and outer action. They offer a wide range to provide a starting point for your own work and engagement. Some information may be outdated.
Resources for Inner Transformation and Outer Action
There is a tremendous amount of resources to educate yourself in how to be an ally and not create harm in this time of transformation. Take the time to look through this long list and find areas that resonate with your heart.
Engagement and Education (compiled by Barre Center for Buddhist Studies)
Support Black owned bookstores
Resources to be an ally to the Black Community by ASUW Directory of Diversity Effort
- Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) provides an excellent list of 8 actions you can take against injustice towards the Black community, tools specifically to educate white people, and more.
- Ways to Help – an excellent list of current resources from protest gatherings to places to donate
Resources by The Stranger
An Antiracist reading list by Ibram X. Kendi
Letters for Black Lives
Letters for Black Lives is a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources to help talk about racial injustices with your own family/community. Translated into various languages
Why is all this happening?
This page on the 100 Year Hoodie website steps you through different layers of what has led up to this moment.
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack BY Peggy McIntosh
- Embodying Race, Love & Liberation (video)
- Code Switch
- About Race with Renni Eddo-Lodge
- The Stoop
- The chicken and Jollof Rice show
- The Nod
- Identity Politics
- Seeing White series
- The Stacks – book discussion podcast with episodes on ‘How to be Antiracist’, ‘The Bluest Eye’, and more
- Brene Brown’s interview w/ Ibram X. Kendi
Some of these offerings may no longer be available
- Slavery by Another Name (PBS Documentary)
- 13th Directed by Ava DuVernay (can be found on Netflix)
- When They See Us (can be found on Netflix)
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap – Netflix
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story – Netflix
- Just Mercy – free to stream in June (YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play)
- Malcolm X (Netflix)
- Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea (Netflix)
- Teach Us All (Netflix)
- Hidden Figures
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Amazon Prime)
- I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime)
- Notes from the Field: Full Film (HBO, available on YouTube)
In this adaptation of the Off-Broadway show, playwright Anna Deavere Smith dramatizes the accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators affected by America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration.