The Board of Directors of the Zen Center of Denver mourns the death of George Floyd and countless other Black Americans whose lives have been cut short, including Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado. As Zen Buddhists, we cannot turn away from the reality of racism in ourselves and in our community. We must turn toward it, investigate and confront it directly in every aspect of our lives, recognizing that we have contributed to the injustice that too often prevails in our society.
We therefore stand in solidarity with all who plead for racial justice, unequivocally affirm that Black lives do matter, and commit to combat racism and inequity in all of their manifestations, starting in our own hearts.
We are committed to supporting the Black community and to furthering anti-racism. Specifically, we are:
• Creating space for members to do the work of considering and addressing our involvement in racial injustice, including reading and discussing anti-racist literature;
• Launching a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative for our Board; and
• Establishing a budget line item for fundraising among members dedicated to charities that address racial injustice and inequity.
We know there is more work to do. We commit to learning from – and amplifying – the voices of Black leaders as we put these strategies into place and practice anti-racism as foundational to our vow to liberate all beings.