All posts by Karen Sundheim

Anti-Racism at BZC

Last fall we invited anyone who wished to participate in a self-led group of BZC members to explore how to address racism in our sangha and the larger community. We warmly welcome any BZC members to join us for meetings, which happen approx­imately monthly. The next meeting is May 2. If you would like to attend, please contact the group facilitators (see emails below). Please watch the calendar for upcoming meetings beyond May.

Racism touches our lives in innumerable ways. It can take the form of systemic racism—such as the policies that shape people’s access to education, home ownership, community safety, food, and economic opportunity. It can also take the form of overt and subtle forms of racism at the personal level. Our society is designed to perpetuate racism at every level, from national policy to cultural norms.

Berkeley Zen Center, like all organizations, is not immune to/from these dynamics. Even with the best intentions, any of us can still act and talk in ways that harm or exclude others. Many of us struggle with knowing how to respond if we see racist acts. Sometimes we do not even know if what we say or do is causing harm. The purpose of this work group is to see what can be done about this, on the individual level and on the interpersonal level, and how BZC can respond and work with the commu­nity and other faith-based organizations.

For more information, please contact Heather Sarantis (heathersarantis@gmail.com), Karen Sundheim (ksundheim@gmail.com), or Mary Duryee (maduryee@icloud.com).