Racial Affinity Groups
Program coordinator: Kathy Shipp
Like Buddhist practitioners across the country, Triangle Insight feels called to address violence against People of Color, as well as societal expressions of systemic racism. We have developed Racial Affinity Groups (RAGs) to support us in this important work. RAGs are small, racially homogeneous groups that use the Buddhist dharma (teachings) and mindful sharing to deepen self-awareness around racial belonging and racial habits of harm.
Why are groups with goals of equality and inclusion racially homogeneous? As Ruth King states in her important book, Mindful of Race, “… given the unintended harm caused from unawareness and cumulative impact when we gather across races, we need …to explore the ignorance and innocence of our racial conditioning and racial character with those of the same race.”
Waking up to racial realities is challenging; the development of safety, trust, and intimacy is essential. To support this, groups follow Triangle Insight’s Mindful Sharing Guidelines and Ruth King’s Racial Affinity Group Guidelines.
Our Racial Affinity Groups are open to participants in Triangle Insight and to committed Buddhist practitioners in other sanghas. The latter might find it beneficial to attend Triangle Insight’s Wednesday sangha prior to joining a RAG. RAGs are integrated with our dharma talks, practice, and study.
Kathy Shipp (email above) is available to answer questions about RAG formation and experiences, and about racial equity training. May our Racial Affinity Groups be of great benefit to all.