George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, and Tony McDade. These recent killings and the Central Park incident are all part of a long history of black people being brutalized, de-legitimized and seen as less than. This pain and grief does not belong just to the black community. It is a collective pain. It is a collective grief.

The NYIMC board, teachers, staff, and the Diversity, Inclusion, and Liberation committee share this pain and are grieving too. NYIMC is committed to stepping into our responsibility to speak and act in solidarity with our Black teachers, leaders, sangha members and the wider community. We must center and follow the lead of those most impacted by the harms that have been laid bare in our country in the past few weeks and for centuries past. As people of integrity dedicated to uprooting the causes and conditions of suffering for all, we voice our commitment to dismantling anti-blackness both internally, within our own hearts and minds, and externally in our families, communities and in the larger society.

This crisis is showing us, more now than ever, that our practice must center around the dismantling of systems of oppression, white supremacy specifically, and a deep commitment to dismantling anti-black racism. It is essential that we uproot the unconscious, harmful biases and habits that prevent us from seeing clearly with open hearts. Angela Davis reminds us that “the challenge of the 21st century is not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression, but rather to identify and dismantle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded.”

The path we walk together is fraught, even with best intentions by all. And we must continue to cultivate a practice that is inclusive and liberative for all. We must hold ourselves and each other accountable for the decolonization of our hearts and minds. Our sangha must do the hard work of waking up and wholeheartedly understanding the “inescapable network of mutuality” that ties us into “a single garment of destiny” (Martin Luther King Jr.).

With peace,
NYI Board of Directors and Diversity, Inclusion, and Liberation Committee