We Are All In This Together
Our shared sense of safety, wellbeing, and humanity depend on each of us. We have the capacity to grow by recognizing the suffering, identifying its causes, and beginning the process of healing. While many Dharma communities have been working on healing racial relations locally, there has not been a systematic approach, bringing together centers and temples from a wide spectrum of Buddhist traditions in North America, to collectively redress racism and provide the means and skillsets to support Black people in healing racial trauma.
Dharma Relief 2 (DR2) is dedicated to working to heal the impact of racism against Black people in North American Dharma communities. Because we are all interconnected, this healing supports awakened understanding in each of us and deepens our capacity to live undefended
and connect with our true nature.
How to Support
Enacting the Buddhist understanding of our deep interdependence, Dharma Relief 2 is dedicated to collectively redressing racism and to supporting Black people in healing racial trauma. Our shared sense of safety, wellbeing, and humanity depends on each of us working together, no matter our background, to recognize suffering, identify its causes, and begin the process of healing. This is especially true and unavoidable when it comes to the matter of race. DR2 is seeking the support of all who share an understanding of our deep interdependence and its relation to racial suffering.
We are launching this website to fundraise $11 million to: 1) offer direct financial stipends to Black and Brown Buddhist teachers and leaders to help sustain their Dharma activities, the stipends addressing income, wealth, health and other disparities between non-Black/Brown Dharma teachers and their BIPOC counterparts, and resulting in increased senses of well-being and empowerment for recipients; and 2) to employ therapists, educators, and group facilitators to train BIPOC and non-BIPOC Dharma teachers in trauma resiliency, racial awareness, special retreats, and other skillful means to support their work with local Buddhist communities. The Dharma teachers and leaders will come from across different Buddhist traditions in North America to receive support and to train in the Dharma Relief programs, serving as an ever-widening core of those motivated and equipped to address racism. In addition, those who receive direct financial stipends will have the opportunity to take trauma resiliency trainings together in order to develop a cohort of Black and Brown Dharma teachers that builds self-empowerment, solidarity and mutual support going forward.
Dharma Relief (501c NPO) is accepting donations through this portal. 100% of your donation will be used to educate Buddhist centers and fund wellness resources and training workshops. We have already identified several means and workshops to accomplish these goals.
We are grateful to the funding agencies which we eagerly await. They will be highlighted in the Sponsors section at the end of the page. Click here to see our list.
Healing Racialized Trauma
DR2 commits to raising awareness about the impact of intergenerational, historical, and continuing present-day trauma on African-descended people. It offers access to wellness resources and trainings that enhance resilience for both Black Buddhist leaders and the communities they serve, prioritizing funding for these leaders to offer racialized trauma healing support through a Buddhist lens for Black communities in the U.S.
Dharma Relief Model of Anti-Racism Training
Dharma Relief 2 supports multidimensional short-term and long-term training for dharma teachers to address racism along three pathways. Each pathway will include appropriate workshop trainings in: social resilience; diversity counseling; somatic experiencing for healing trauma; and individual classes on racism from multiple perspectives of history, class distinctions, gender imbalances, economic disparities, generational changes, and educational backgrounds. A list of the training institutions will be provided once finalized. The three pathways are:
Racial Healing for Black and Brown Teachers. To amplify their voices in the Buddhist community, DR2 provides direct financial stipends to Black and Brown Buddhist leaders to help sustain their Dharma activities, as well as supporting trainings of Black and Brown Buddhist leaders aimed at healing racialized trauma, with these leaders in turn bringing the means and skillsets of this healing to their communities.
Racial Healing for non-Black/Brown Teachers. To inform and transform non-Black/Brown Buddhist spaces, DR2 supports anti-racism trainings of teachers in these communities in order to develop awareness and ownership of racial suffering, with these leaders passing on an informed sense of ongoing commitment to redress this suffering to their communities.
Internal Work for the Core Members of Dharma Relief 2. To exemplify how a diverse community can come together and work through the matter of race, Dharma Relief is committed to undertaking its own ongoing internal work through anti-racism trainings, affinity groups, and continuing member encounter.
Here are some resources and methods that change systemic racism on an individual, familial, institutional, and political levels.
How to Join
We encourage Dharma teachers, leaders and centers to apply for our Dharma Relief stipends and anti-racism trainings, and to help spread the word of this project. We envision that those who take part in Dharma Relief stipends and/or trainings will become part of an ever-widening network committed to strengthening the diversity and equity of the North American Buddhist landscape and to ongoing anti-racism efforts.
Application for Black and Brown Teachers
To apply for direct financial stipend to help sustain your Dharma activities, please click here.
Application for Anti-Racism Trainings
Once the application is live, we will send an email on how to sign up for the trainings here.
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
Being Without Self
Bright Way Zen Sangha
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Dharma Drum Mountain Dallas
Dharma Drum Mountain Seattle
Dharma Drum Mountain San Francisco
Dharma Drum Mountain Tallahassee Chan Center
Dharma Drum Mountain Toronto
Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver
Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Drepung Loseling Monastery
Florida Community of Mindfulness
Houston Zen Center
Kansas Zen Center
Life Transition Meditation Center
North Carolina Zen Center
One Earth Sangha
Sanshin Zen Community