After months of respite in the wake of Covid-19 the silence was broken, a cathartic cry for “Justice!” was heard around the world. The bandaid was ripped off as they say, repealing a painful and bleeding wound that has been conveniently overlooked for centuries. Stephon Clark, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, are just a few and most recent names of individuals to be unjustly killed in the hands of civil-servants.
Inevitable question arise, particularly as a white male: What’s my role in this? How can I contribute and be an ally? What if I get it wrong and say something stupid? Each question invariable exposes a painful legacy and reveals even more painful answers followed by more questions. In no way is this convenient. Or comfortable. Or clearly laid out. But it is imperative.
Over the years, I’ve struggled with these questions, felt the collective sorrow, and tried to educate myself through trainings and conversations. I consciously try to make DYU a welcoming space – failed many times – but hold true to the vision.
Or course yoga has been a major part of that journey – the leading force in many ways. Yoga is a path of deep peace and healing at every step no matter how troubled the terrain. As our sensitivity increases, we can openly recognize the sorrow and joys of the human condition, including our own. Yoga is the means by which we can elevate our own condition and the collective welfare.
Then the questions start up again. For me, the answer looks like listening and taking action. Listening means education. Action looks like using my talents and resources in service of peace and healing (without spiritual bypass).
Specifically that looks like:
- A video and interview series exploring how yoga practice and teachings can be a force for peace and healing on the individual and collective levels.
- We will host a workshop/class in support of Satya Yoga Cooperative, a local school dedicated exclusively to providing yoga teacher training to communities of color. Our goal is to raise 2K, enough to provide tuition for one student to complete their training. It’s a modest but important beginning. Further details coming soon.
- And continue to explore ways that we can make this initiative sustainable.
In the immediate, here is a list of resources to educate ourself on this important and timely issue. Admittedly, I’ve not cased all of these, but received them reliable sources. And added a few of my own discoveries.
- Unlearning Racism Newsletter
- Black People Need Stronger White Allies
- How To Be An Ally During Times of Tragedy
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
Podcasts & Video To Check Out:
- Seeing White
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Community Conversation | Yoga and Race Relations with Tyrone Beverly
(Features many voices from Denver)