In late 2014, Lama Tsultrim initiated an exploration of how Feeding Your Demons® could be applied to our personal and cultural demons of racism, privilege, and oppression. She invited Karla Jackson-Brewer, Lopön Chandra Easton, and Rev. Jamil Scott to develop a curriculum, and in January 2015 they launched a series called “Compassionately Awake to Oppression and Privilege” in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now we continue to find ways to use our Dharma practice and tools in the critical process of ‘waking up’ in the world.
In the Fall of 2015, Tara Mandala established the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Council to address issues of underrepresentation of people from different cultural, racial, sexual orientation, and social backgrounds in the Dharma and at Tara Mandala. The Council includes Lopön Chandra Easton, Karla Jackson-Brewer, Christine Ho, Michele Nevarez, and Akiko Oncken.
Tara Mandala works to create an environment where the richness of diverse perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences are appreciated and welcomed. We support the expression and experience of cultural literacy. We offer training to our staff and volunteers and resources that strengthen the cultural literacy of our community-at-large.
The purpose of the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Council is:
- To promote cultural literacy in our sangha
- To bring the Dharma principles of compassion, love, wisdom and interdependence into our relationships and practice path
- To foster diversity and equity in the Dharma, specifically at Tara Mandala and her satellite sanghas around the world
- To become a place of refuge and healing for those who have been marginalized
Fund for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
The Fund for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity at Tara Mandala was established in 2015. Thanks to a generous anonymous gift, this Fund is used to award scholarships for onsite retreats, online programs, and program fees for long-term practice programs (Magyu, Gateway).
The Fund for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity awards scholarships to people of color and/or those who are underrepresented due to their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, and ethnicity and those in need of financial support.