“Justice is what love looks like in public, just like tenderness is what love feels like in private.”
-- Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University
The first yoga sutra of Patanjali, Atha yoga anushasanam, is frequently translated to mean “Now, the practice of yoga begins.” While we may have only applied this sutra to our time on the yoga mat, we can now engage this wisdom as both individual and community yoga practitioners in confronting the problem of racism in our lives. In this context, we can remember that what is asked of us is simple: BEGIN. Similar to the action of stepping onto the mat, we can begin our practice by coming to the subject, staying present and beginning our work exactly where we are in that moment.
We offer these recommendations as a doorway into personal and group learning. The suggested material moves from basic review to more in-depth exploration of anti-racism through the lens of current events and the origins of the current policing crisis – but racism affects people in all marginalized groups and the resources listed are by no means exhaustive. Understanding anti-Black racism is one way to appreciate the many forms of discrimination, exclusion, and injustice endured by all marginalized communities.
The first and third Thursdays of the month are devoted to community check-in and discussion of our anti-racism agenda. Everyone is welcome in these sessions, however, we understand as a community we represent a spectrum of awareness. You may be coming to this work for the very first time or you may be well-versed in this issue from personal experience. In order to create some shared understanding of how we will approach this work, we ask that before joining the community discussion you read/view the material in the “Start Here” section.