Equity and Interdependence

Equity & Interdependence

Being in Beloved Community

In the summer of 2020, we are grieving once again for the trauma and loss experienced by our brothers and sisters of color in our unjust world. While these moments might bring the injustice into focus, we recognize that systemic racism and oppression is alive in every moment. We stand in solidarity with front line activists doing the difficult work of advocating for social justice and looking to bring structural change in their own communities. And we, as an organization, through our programs and through the ways that we make decisions, hire, and communicate, commit to supporting this front line work. We believe that mindfulness and compassion have a powerful role to play in strengthening social justice activism and in transforming deep underlying structures of mind and heart that make oppression, violence, and dehumanization possible.

In our 10-year history, we have learned a lot about what it means for an organization whose primary decision makers are from dominant identity groups (white, able-bodied, middle-class) to engage in equity work, and we continue to figure out how to navigate this process. We share here the work we have done and are doing to address injustice in our organization and in our own hearts and minds.

group picture

Social Justice

We believe that justice and equity are at the core of mindfulness and compassion. We define justice as Dr. King articulated, “power correcting everything which stands against love.” We define equity as both the social condition in which everyone has the freedom and resources to live whole and balanced lives, and the process by which an unjust society rebuilds itself to create that universal freedom.

iBme’s programs aim to guide teens and young adults in their development of self-awareness, compassion, and ethical decision making, empowering them to apply these essential skills to their lives and communities.

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teens meditating

Staff Training

Our staff, board, and retreat teams bring years of personal mindfulness practice to their roles, modeling authenticity, compassion, and respect. While our retreat teaching teams are diverse, more than 50% POC and representing many different identities, our administrative staff and board are overwhelmingly white, cisgendered, and able-bodied.

Regular equity and diversity training has given us the opportunity to see our social privilege and deepen our awareness, and has allowed us to confront our hegemonic ways of understanding the world and our places in it.

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Community Resources from iBme Teachers & Participants

Rashid Hughes

Rashid Hughes »

Listen to Rashid’s podcast on ‘What it means to be free’ in response to the murder of George Floyd. To learn more about Rashid’s work, visit rashidhughes.com


Rosie Aguayo »
Teen Retreat Alumni

Rosie created the Teens Against Bullying Club to bring a sense of unity on campus. One goal is to find healthy alternatives to cope with feelings through mindfulness education. Learn more.

Lama Rod

Lama Rod »

Buy Lama Rod’s new book ‘Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger.’ To learn more about Lama Rod’s work, visit lamarod.com

Kaira Jewel

Kaira Jewel Lingo »

View Kaira Jewel’s webinar on ‘Honoring Juneteenth: Love and Justice in These Times.’ To learn more about Kaira Jewel’s work, visit kairajewel.com

all in together

Collaborative Leadership

Addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity internally has been a primary focus for iBme. Since 2017, with the support of BayNVC and Miki Kashtan, iBme has been engaged in shifting our organizational structure away from a typical hierarchical, top-down power structure and towards a collaborative leadership model with shared decision-making.

As we continue to identify and divest from dominant systems of unequal power within our organizational structure, and reflect on how these systems impact the ways we show up day to day, we expect to be able to welcome, retain, and collaborate with a greater number of participants and staff from historically marginalized communities.

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students on steps


Accessibility is fundamental to our mission. We want to ensure that there are no teens barred from the opportunity to attend retreat due to the systemic injustices that have left many groups economically vulnerable.

iBme continues to evolve its financial model to be as progressive and equitable as possible, while balancing what’s necessary for financial sustainability, in pursuit of maximum accessibility, diversity, and quality for its programs.

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What I love most about iBme retreats is the sensitive, authentic, inclusive, and compassionate teaching. Each teacher speaks from the heart, and their own experience and knowledge of mindfulness practices. Their desire is that we live into our compassion for self, each other, and our world. This is something you can feel tangibly.

– Valerie Striar, All Ages Online Retreat Participant