Triratna Racial Diversity Project

an introduction

Welcome

The Triratna Racial Diversity project began in January 2022 and is funded by the European Chairs Assembly (ECA). The project aims to promote and encourage more people of colour to walk through the doors of our Triratna Centres and to deepen their engagement with meditation and Buddhism in our community.

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The project aims to spread the Dharma to a new demographic across the UK particularly, with learning and good practice shared across Europe and other parts of the Triratna world.

People of colour, as a demographic, are poorly represented within UK Triratna, even though many Centres do have a handful of people in introductory classes, we are aware that many do not go on to progress within spiritual pathways. This is despite the fact that we know the Dharma has much to offer our communities.

The project will develop a strong online presence, building a sense of community and growing visibility of the potential and power of meditation and the Dharma that is relevant and appropriate for people of colour. We intend to:

– Grow an engaging social media presence with links to bookings for upcoming national and regional events at local Centres.

– Work with our local Centres across the UK, specifically where demographics show that there is reach and relevance for uptake by our audience, there will be support for planning, promoting and delivering local events for people of colour.

If you are a mitra and would benefit from contacting the team who support people of colour then do get in touch

An introduction to the Triratna Racial Diversity Steering Group

The project has taken some time to come into being, with many of the steering group members working over many years to highlight the need for more racially diverse Sanghas to help grow our movement and alleviate suffering in the world.

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This work is not new – there were People of Colour retreats and introductory sessions in London decades ago, delivered by Paramachitta and Amaragita, amongst others. Some of our current Black Order Members, such as all came to meditation and the Dharma through these targeted events for people of colour.

Back in the day, the events were focused in and around London, where we now see a steady and encouraging flow of Mitras and Order members of Colour at our Triratna centres. Although still in a minority and often not representing the local demographics, there is a community beginning to establish.

Outside of London, many Order Members and mitras often felt isolated and local Sanghas were finding it hard, or did not see the relevance of attracting or engaging people of colour to introductory classes.

Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the response within our Triratna Sanghas, it was recognised that there was a need for a concerted effort in this area to welcome and engage people of colour. 

The Steering group comprises Jayadevi, Suryagupta, Manjusiha, Saravantu and Maitrisara. All are either Order Members of colour or active in the area of anti-racism within our Triratna context. They bring much lived experience to help steer and oversee the project and its outcomes.

Resources

Attracting and engaging people of colour at your centre is what this project is all about. To help you and your Centre get started, here’s an offering that we hope will equip you and your local centre or retreat centre with information, guidance and resources.

For Triratna Centre Trustees and Chairs
Centre Team How to guides and further information
  • pdf: Why racial diversity matters
  • pdf: Signposting and supporting people of colour
  • pdf: Guidance for Centre Teams (imagery, website, connecting with people of colour retreats, events and news)
  • website: Marketing – image library
  • website: Awareness is Revolutionary
Broader Sangha wide initaitives and awareness

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Next Steps

If you, or other people of colour Mitras or Order members in your Sangha or Team, want to begin the journey of developing People of Colour activities and affinity groups, then get in touch using our contact form below, to see how you can:

 

  • Connect with other people of colour at regional and national retreats and events.

 

  • Explore with us how to begin a new people of colour group at your Centre.

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Contact the Racial Diversity Project

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