Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council
Tara Mandala works to create an environment where the richness of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences are appreciated and welcomed.
In the fall of 2015, Tara Mandala established the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council to address the underrepresentation of people from different cultural, racial, sexual orientation, and social backgrounds in the Dharma and at Tara Mandala.
We support the expression and experience of cultural literacy and offer training to our staff, teachers, Living Dharma Apprentice Program (LDAP) participants, and our broader sangha with resources that strengthen the cultural literacy of our community at large.
With the support of the EDI Council, Tara Mandala has established a BBAIPOC (Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous People of Color) Meditation Sangha and an LGBTQIA+ Sangha, the Thousand Arms Sangha.
One way to support Tara Mandala’s EDI efforts is to make a contribution to the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship Fund >>
The purpose of Tara Mandala’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work is:
- To promote cultural literacy in our sangha
- To foster diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Dharma, specifically at Tara Mandala and her global sanghas around the world
- To be a place of refuge and healing for those who have been marginalized
- To bring the Dharma principles of compassion, love, wisdom, and interdependence into our relationships and practice path
EDI Annual Updates:
In 2023, the EDI Council relied on the training delivered by Equity in the Center. It implemented an organization-wide training developed by Lopön Karla Jackson-Brewer, Senior Teacher and EDI Co-Chair, specifically for Tara Mandala. This unique training incorporates Dharma with EDI and looks directly at microaggressions, cultural literacy within the sangha, and interpersonal relationships concerning race, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
This training will be offered to the entire Tara Mandala Sangha in 2024.
To read the most current annual update, see this link.
Tara Mandala’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Commitment
As a Sangha of Dharma practitioners, we make a commitment to:
- The journey of discovering and uprooting our ignorance and unconscious bias regarding issues of racism, sexism, misogyny, and heterosexism, among other forms of bias.
- Challenging our community to look inward and deeply at their own lives and unconscious compliance in a system of race-based oppression that has been part of our history from the beginning. We must learn from our past.
- Expanding and funding our work with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council. The Council is committed to developing an overall comprehensive EDI Plan that includes education, training, workshops, and conversations with staff, teachers, and leaders.
- Helping fund our EDI Scholarship Fund.
- Not looking only to our BBAIPOC sangha members or teachers to do this work for us. White leadership commits to taking responsibility for the ways that inaction and silence are complicit in racist systems.
- Supporting BBAIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Dharma teachers and centers and forming alliances with these individuals and organizations to bring their work to the forefront and into Tara Mandala’s onsite and online programs. We are committed to supporting the BBAIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Meditation Groups.
- Supporting organizations that are tackling racism, white privilege, and white supremacy and the policies that sustain it or the status quo so they can continue their essential work.
- Embodying ‘Aspirational Bodhicitta’ through the Four Immeasurables: compassion, kindness, empathetic joy, and equanimity in our everyday lives and actions to ensure they apply to everyone, including BBAIPOC and LGBTQIA+.
- Enacting ‘Bodhicitta in Action’ through the Six Perfections: generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.
We send out regular updates about our EDI work. If you are not currently receiving our newsletter, please sign up here to receive all Tara Mandala updates.
As we continue this work at Tara Mandala, we invite your support, participation, and feedback. Please contact us on this page if you have questions or suggestions.
Tara Mandala BBAIPOC Meditation Sangha
Led by Karla Jackson-Brewer
Online meetings using the Zoom platform
Come be a part of Tara Mandala’s BBAIPOC (Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous People of Color) Meditation Sangha led by Karla Jackson-Brewer, long-time Tara Mandala Authorized Teacher and educator in the field of Women’s and Africana studies.
Severing Attachment to White Supremacy (SAWS) Sangha
Led by Lopön Chandra Easton and MacAndrew Jack, Ph.D.
Tara Mandala’s Severing Attachment to White Supremacy (SAWS) Sangha is an anti-racist, white-identified group working to decolonize our own minds, sangha, and the world in order to become change agents in this important work of undoing our implicit bias and attachment to privilege, which perpetuate white supremacy and racism. We invite all white-identified sangha members to join us in this important work.
The Thousand Arms Sangha
Led by Pamela Ambrose.
Come be a part of Tara Mandala’s LGBTQIA+ community by joining The Thousand Arms Sangha. We draw inspiration from Chenrezig, the gender fluid bodhisattva of Compassion, who holds a steady and compassionate presence for ALL beings. This is an intentional community of practitioners who come together to practice and reflect on the personal experiences of being LGBTQIA+ within the Buddhist spheres of study and practice.
Tara Mandala Living Dharma Program Students
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Fund
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Scholarship Fund at Tara Mandala was established in 2015. Thanks to the generosity of our sangha members, this Fund is able to award scholarships for onsite retreats, online programs, and program fees for long-term practice programs (Magyu, Gateway, and Ösel Nyingtig).
The Fund for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion awards scholarships to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people of color and/or those who are underrepresented due to their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, ethnicity, or socio-economic situation.
Current EDI Council Members
The council consists of Lopön Chandra Easton (Dorje Lopön/ Lead Senior Teacher), MacAndrew Jack, PhD (Former President of the Board), Karla Jackson-Brewer, MS (Senior Teacher), Celeste Young (Board Member), Robert Thomas (Executive Director), Tenzin Sangpo (Tara Mandala Resident & Translator/Librarian), Pamela Ambrose (Senior Magyu Student).
Current EDI Advisors
Sylvie Djeddah (French Sangha leader), Iwona Khandro (Polish Sangha Founding member), Ellen Serrano (US Sangha member), & Clifton Carmody (Operations Director).