Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) committee, established in 2021, is a standing committee of the IMCC Board of Directors.  The following statement of purpose was drafted by the DEIJ Committee on behalf of the sangha. It is a living document which will, no doubt, continue to evolve as our sangha changes and the community of which we are a part changes.

To reach the DEIJ committee with any sort of feedback or questions, you may confidentially email Phil Dupont at imccvicepresident@imeditation.org 

IMCC is committed to creating a socially aware, welcoming, and open-hearted refuge where all can benefit from the teachings of the Buddha (dharma), including people of color, members of the LGBTQIA2+ community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities. Historically, IMCC has not been a place of inclusion and equity where marginalized groups have felt they belonged, and therefore our sangha does not currently reflect our larger community. IMCC is committed to addressing the barriers that have kept people from finding a spiritual home here. We aim to provide a safe space for our practitioners to explore and learn the dharma, based upon a deep cultural humility that openly acknowledges and actively seeks to incorporate our communitys diverse backgrounds and current experiences. 

To this end, IMCC has created a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice committee which includes members of the Board as well as sangha members.  We pledge to proceed with curiosity, inquiry, and reflection. This effort will be a shared responsibility throughout our sangha.

We are committed to a socially engaged Buddhism that actively fosters equity within our sangha and through service to our surrounding community. Our practice is not just about individual awakening, enlightenment, and freedom, but about our collective journey and transformation toward a shared experience of wisdom and justice. Interdependence with the world of suffering beings is embodied in the Buddhist vision of the bodhisattva, the inspired practitioner who vows to awaken in support of the liberation of all beings.    

It is our intention to be a community that embodies:  

          Diversity – acknowledging and valuing differences based on race, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, age, class, wealth, education, abilities, background, opinions, experience, and other social and economic differences.

          Equity – meeting people where they are while removing barriers to success and not treating everyone the same. It means dissecting the broken parts with a sincere desire to learn and understand (without judgment).

          Inclusion – creating an environment that supports a sense of belonging for people from diverse social groups, allowing us to awaken together.

          Justice – extending our inward awakening outward into the external” realm of collective healing and liberation, the expression of compassion for the suffering of the world.

          Cultural humility – using our beginner s mind enables us to listen, reflect, become aware of power and privilege, hear a multiplicity of voices, learn from one another, and create a safe space.

This commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sangha is a reflection of dharma in action.

On March 30, 2021 the DEIJ Committee Members presented the statement of purpose to the sangha.

Committee Members:

Laura DeVault, Board member

Philip Dupont, Board member

Susan Kaufman, Bd. member

Barbara Maille, Board member

Benita Mayo, Sangha member

Ann Marie Smith, Bd. member

Bev Wann, Sangha member

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