Spirit Rock Diversity Program Statement
Our purpose is to promote the transformation of the Spirit Rock community (Board, teachers, staff and sangha) so that at all levels, institutional and otherwise, Spirit Rock embodies multicultural inclusiveness, engages in authentic dialogue, and collaborates across differences. We are dedicated to the inclusion of all races, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, disabilities, cultures, ethnicities, and other social identities.
Diversity Assessment Completed
Spirit Rock recently completed an in-depth assessment project with a team of three consultants, studying progress on our 2001 Board-ratified Diversity Initiative. The consultants conducted individual interviews, focus groups and surveys with board members, teachers, staff members, diversity council members and a wide cross-section of community members. The consultants assess our successes, challenges and potential next steps in making Spirit Rock as inclusive and accessible as possible for all people. The final report was presented to the Board of Directors in November and to the wider community on December 1, 2008.
- Dr. Marlene Jones and Ralph Steele were recognized for pioneering work on behalf of multicultural inclusion during Spirit Rock’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in September. [Note: Dr. Jones passed away on January 9, 2013. Spirit Rock renamed the People of Color Scholarship Fund in her honor — Dr. Marlene Jones People of Color Scholarship Fund.]
- Angeles Arrien facilitated a diversity training for Teachers from Spirit Rock and San Francisco Zen Center in September. [Note: Angeles Arrien passed away on April 24, 2014.]
- Swan Keyes facilitated a diversity training for Spirit Rock/IMS Teachers in Training and co-facilitated two diversity trainings for Spirit Rock staff.
- The Teachers Council spent a day addressing gender representation at Spirit Rock and plan to work with this issue further.
- In October Spirit Rock held a special event in honor of California Supreme Court’s granting the right to marry to same-sex couples. The event was a celebration of committed relationships, open to people of any sexual orientation, and was led by Sylvia Boorstein, Naomi Newman and Evan Kavanagh.
- In early January 2009 a Sweat Lodge Ceremony for Women of Color was led by Dr. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and Verlinda Montoya.