The time is now for every community to take a longer look at their composition, longer and deeper than ever before. Our commitment to anti-racism is from now explicit and proactive. As a yoga community rooted in a predominantly white area, we have taken it for granted that our administration and teaching faculty are consequently also (mostly) white.
We acknowledge that this kind of thinking, or lack of thinking about diversity, is at the root of systemic racism.
As such, we are revising our mission statement as a not for profit to tackle our own ignorance and to hold ourselves accountable to new policies we are designing specifically to increase diversity, widen our awareness, and promote the techniques of yoga as a healing modality and source of professional empowerment for all ethnicities, ages, sizes, and regions of the gender spectrum.
Currently, we are listening. We are taking on board everything coming from the media, from our friends and colleagues of BIPOC and BAME groups, and taking instruction from those trained in diversity and inclusion policy-making. We are looking at ourselves, our personal beliefs and behaviour to see where we have reinforced systemic racism and discrimination at all levels.
We are taking pause to see how our recent efforts toward gaining clarity around power dynmics in yoga will now be revised to specifically include rooting out the mechanism of systemic racism. And we are writing this document, a contract to ourselves and to our community that sets out the intentions to take right action as inspired by our internal work as yoga students at a pace that is well-informed by rigorous research of credible sources and inspired from the heart.
Watch this space. This document will be regularly updated as we get to grips with how to make lasting changes at the heart of our infrastructure, methodology, future planning, and personal behaviour.