Equity and Interdependence

Equity & Interdependence

Being in Beloved Community

Reimagining and co-creating a just and liberated world includes:

  1. Understanding the history of racism and the system of white supremacy in order to address past harms and institutionalize accountability in our community for collective change;
  2. Implementing interventions that use an intersectional analysis, impact multiple systems, center Blackness, and build the collective cultural, economic, and political power of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC); and
  3. Applying the practice of love, along with disruption and resistance, to the status quo when necessary, particularly when that path is most difficult.
View 10-Year Progress Report

Each of the above actions are integral to iBme’s transformation. We believe that mindfulness and compassion have a powerful role to play in strengthening social justice activism and in transforming the deep underlying structures of the mind and the heart that make oppression, violence, and dehumanization possible.

Since our founding 11 years ago, we have dedicated time and energy to learn what it means for an organization to engage in equity work, particularly when the organization’s founders and early primary decision makers were from dominant identity groups (e.g., white, able-bodied, middle-class). We humbly continue to learn from our own history and figure out how to navigate this process into our future. We share here the work we have done thus far and the work we are continuing to do 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

Annual Curriculum

Our ecosystem of standing committees, working groups, and community stakeholders bring years of personal mindfulness practice to their roles, modeling authenticity, compassion, and respect. While our retreat teaching teams have long been diverse—more than 50% of our teachers are people of color and represent many other diverse identities—our shift to collaborative leadership has allowed us to further diversify our team of primary decisionmakers. This includes the creation of a BIPOC-majority Teachers Advisory Council and a Communities of Color Committee that is fully dedicated to prioritizing the needs of and programming for BIPOC community members and provides input across various organizational departments including marketing, programming, development, community engagement, and equity.

At the same time, we have committed to regular equity and interdependence learning opportunities that have provided members of our community with opportunities to see and deepen our awareness of our individual and organizational social privilege. This has allowed us to confront our hegemonic ways of understanding the world and our place in it.

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Resources from the iBme Community

Tonya, Sarah, & David

Administrative Staff

iBme staff presents to 30+ organizations of the Retreat Center Collaboration on Equity and Interdependence and Collaborative Leadership work.

Watch the Presentation

Nwamaka Agbo

CEO, Kataly Foundation

Read Nwamaka's Article

Nwamaka of the Kataly Foundation (a funder of iBme) writes about how we can reject a false of harmony and transform philanthropy to support real healing.

Dr. Angel Acosta

Healing-Centered Educator

Dr. Acosta visits iBme's Sweet Seat on Instagram Live to talk about mindfulness, education, and culture. To learn more about Dr. Acosta's work, visit drangelacosta.com

Watch Dr. Acosta's Sweet Seat

Sara Shapouri

iBme Teacher

Sara Shapouri visits iBme's Sweet Seat on Instagram Live to share her personal connection to and the meaning of the #FreePalestine movement.

Watch Sara's Sweet Seat
CL and EI Presentation

Tonya, Sarah, & David »
Administrative Staff

iBme staff presents to 30+ organizations of the Retreat Center Collaboration on Equity and Interdependence and Collaborative Leadership work.

Nwamaka Agbo

Nwamaka Agbo »
CEO, Kataly Foundation

Nwamaka of the Kataly Foundation (a funder of iBme) writes about how we can reject a false of harmony and transform philanthropy to support real healing.

Dr. Angel Acosta

Dr. Angel Acosta »
Healing-Centered Educator

Dr. Acosta visits iBme’s Sweet Seat on Instagram Live to talk about mindfulness, education, and culture. To learn more about Dr. Acosta’s work, visit drangelacosta.com

Sara Shapouri

Sara Shapouri »
iBme Teacher

Sara Shapouri visits iBme’s Sweet Seat on Instagram Live to share her personal connection to and the meaning of the #FreePalestine movement.

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

Accessibility is fundamental to our mission. We want to ensure that there are no teens barred from the opportunity to attend our programs 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