Below are measures we will take in 2020 at iBme to ensure our programs are rooted more and more in justice and equity:
- We will offer three courses related to equity during our Contemplative Summer School: Meditation as a Support for White Anti-Racist Action; Celebration and Restoration of Communities of Color: Intergenerational Wellness and Sustainability; and Embodied Sacred Activism: Mindfulness and Social Justice.
- Our affinity space programming for teens of color will expand to include teens, young adults, and adults.
- We will continue our retreat staff equity training this summer with nearly one hundred teachers and mentors deepening their lens of equity and interdependence within their role.
- We will continue to send required justice-based readings and video lists to staff and teachers to reflect upon before retreat.
- Our office staff of 6 will complete part 3 of our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) deep dive with our Equity consultant. As a part of this work, we have incorporated the discussion an Equity Literacy Principle into our biweekly staff meetings.
- Out of this work, we will identify at least 5 areas of improvement as it relates to DEI and establish a plan and commitment to address these concerns going into 2021. Some steps we are considering: (a) Regular Equity and Interdependence community wide meetings, gatherings, and celebrations; (b) Co-holding of responsibilities and expected outcomes of DEI by staff members, clearly defined in staff job descriptions with leaders being supported with training, budget allocations, and time to do this work within and beyond the organization as necessary; and (c) Consideration of hiring a full time Equity and Inclusion staff member or the incorporation of this role into a Community Organizing role as described in #9 below.
- Our organization will prioritize recruiting and hiring more diverse consultants and retreat staff teams in order to do the work of redistributing resources and retaining diverse participants and staff over time.
- We will evaluate our policies and focus on bringing an equity lens to resource flow and compensation for office and retreat staff.
- We will build deep community alliances with local communities and organizations to improve teen recruitment and retention for our retreats. Through these partnerships, we will remove barriers to registration beyond just financial resources. In order to accomplish this, we envision strengthening the capacity of our Regional Community Organizers (RCOs). We believe that if we make a greater investment in the RCO role and their capacity to recruit youth, maintain sustainable relationships with community leaders, and be a bridge between our headquarters and the local community, iBme will be better equipped to support the unique needs of local groups, particularly as it relates to supporting historically marginalized teen participants.
“For white people who have been protected from the realities of systemic racism and other kinds of targets, it’s so painful to start to discover how things are. It’s a process, a transformation that takes time, commitment, and energy. You’re going to make really painful mistakes, but on the other side is this incredible awakening. You’re going to think, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t know that. I can’t believe I thought that, said that, did that.’”
– Jessica Morey, iBme Co-Founder