6:00 – 8:00 pm
All people are raised with cultural conditioning around race. If we were raised in the U.S., and especially if we identify as “white” or “European-descended,” our conditioning tends to include a value for colorblindness, which can make it difficult for to acknowledge, let alone investigate, our racial conditioning and biases. This book group is intended to expand our racial literacy, as Micheal Eric Dyson puts it, to develop a more intimate understanding together of racial oppression and the suffering it causes across color lines in the U.S., and to engage this as our practice in Zen of turning towards suffering as the gate of awakening and liberation.
Pre-registration for the group is requested each month, so that everyone can have the page assignments, articles, and to consider the agreements before each meeting.
To register, or for more information please email:
Facilitated by: Hoka Chris Fortin and Dojin Sarah Emerson
The two teachers facilitating the group identify as white, U.S. citizens, and Zen Buddhist priests. We understand the limitations of our experiences in relation to race, and strive to bring cultural humility to our facilitation of these groups.
Next Meeting: Thursday 4/22/21 (please not we are changing to Thursday evenings for the foreseeable future), 6-8 pm:
Book: Be the Refuge by Changing Han, parts 2 and 3
We will be reading Be the Refuge for the months of March- May
PAST BOOKS/ READING
March 2021: Be the Refuge by Changing Han- Introduction and Part One
February 2021: last 1/3 of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: the origins of our discontents
December 2020 and January 2021- first 2/3 of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: the origins of our discontents
November 2020: Love and Rage by Lama Rod Owens and beginning Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
October 2020: Love and Rage by Lama Rod Owens
reading for the first time, or finishing books, on the reading list below
This group has been meeting for almost two years and in that time we have encountered together a number of offerings on race and dharma (see below). This month, because there are a number of new members, and because we did not have our usual summer hiatus, we are asking everyone to pick a book from the list below to either read for the first time, or finish, if you were not able to previously.
August 2020: My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menaken
July 2020: White Rage by Carol Anderson
June 2020: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Hall Kimmerer
March and April 2020: The Inner Work of Racial Justice by Rhonda Magee
February 2020: There There by Tommy Orange.
December 2019 and January 2020: How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
American Sutra by Duncan Ryuken Williams
AND The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
October 2020: Cancelled due to evacuations- will cover American Sutra in November
This summer, we want to empower the group to set out some on your own to find resources: books, articles, films, etc. that support us in broadening beyond perspectives of privilege and disrupting our acculturated racism. So the challenge is to do some research (online or in community…or both!) and read (at least) one non-fiction book, one fiction book, one article, and watch at least one video that supports and fosters your racial literacy and dharma inquiry.
Please email the group what you are reading/ watching, so that we can compile a list collectively (it’s fine if several people read/ watch the same thing).
Then, in September, each of us will synthesize for the group what we watched/ read and how it impacted us.
In case you would like somewhere to start, here are links to just a few antiracist reading/ resource lists:
Antiracist reading/ resource lists
By Ibram X Kendi in NY Times:
From White Awake (includes articles and videos):
From Powell’s Books:
From Charis Books (more scholastic):
A reading list For Gov. Ralph Northum by Ibram X Kendi:
And, in addition to these lists, a couple of specific suggestions:
Book: American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 by Benjamin Madley
and Video: “When they see us” an mini-series directed by Ava DuVernay about the “Central Park Five”
available on Netflix- https://www.netflix.com/browse?jbv=80200549&jbp=1&jbr=1
June 2019: The reading for June will be “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, the fifth chapter of “White Fragility” by Robin DeAngelo and “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
May 2019 readings: Book: “Awakening Together” by Larry Yang, Chapter 4 of “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, and Rev angel Kyodo williams’ article, “Your Liberation is on the Line.”
April 2019 readings: “The Way of Tenderness” by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and the third chapter of “White Fragility” by Robin DeAngelo.
March 2019 readings: Becoming by Michelle Obama
review first two chapters of White Fragility
article: “Your Liberation is on the Line” by angel Kyodo williams in Buddhadharma magazine, Spring 2019
February 2019 Book: The 57 Bus by Dashka Slate.
January 2019 book: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
December 2018 book: Kindred by Octavia Butler.
Book for November 2018: Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora.
Book for Oct. 2018: Mindful of Race by Ruth King
Book for Sept. 2018 : summer reading (see below)
Summer Reading:For July and August, we are suggesting three books: one non-fiction, one fiction, and one Dharma and Race specific.
For the Summer Reading, we are asking that everyone read at least one book…and all three if possible
The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don’t know how to face. The New Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness…is such a work.” -The New York Review of Books
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Puliter Prize winner for fiction in 1986.A New York Times survey of writers and literary critics ranked it the best work of American fiction from 1981 to 2006. This novel looks at the family of Sethe in the aftermath of escaping slavery.
Radical Dharma, by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah
Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening.
June 2018: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrice Khan-Cullors and asha bandale
May 2018: Homegoing by Ya’a Gyasi
April 2018: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
March 2018: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward and instead of an article, we are asking members to watch the film “I Am Not Your Negro” (available through PBS and streaming through Amazon)
February 2018 : Waking Up White by Peggy Irving
It was decided by the January group that going forward we will read one book per month, so beginning in Feb. and going forward we will read the whole book for each meeting.
January 2018: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
December 2017: Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson pages 123-end
article: “We’re Still Here”
November/December 2017: Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
November 8, 2017: pages 1-123
and article: “Waking Up to Whiteness” by Greg Snyder