Rebecca Li at Harvard Divinity School Second Conference on Buddhism and Race, April 22-23, 2016


Rebecca Li was invited to speak at the Second Buddhism and Race Conference hosted by the Harvard Buddhist Community of Harvard Divinity School on April 22-23, 2016.  At this conference, sangha leaders, activists, community members and students joined together to share justice-oriented teachings and training.  The event was sold out and it was standing room only when the event opened Friday evening.  Rebecca shared in the Opening night panel why it is important to hold dialogues on race and the challenges involved, along with panelists from Zen, Tibetan and Insight traditions.  On April 23, in a panel entitled “How to Adopt Practices to Address the Racial Aspect of Suffering,” along with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, Zen and mindfulness, Rebecca shared practices in Chan to work with forms of oppression and aspects of the teaching that may shutdown conversations regarding oppression.  The discussion was moderated by Harvard Professor Charles Hallisey.  After the panelists shared, discussion was opened up to the audience.  In addition to these two panels, there was also a panel where practice leaders in People of Color groups shared their experiences, challenges and successes in creating a space for practitioners to feel welcome and included.  There were also breakout sessions where workshop leaders shared practices to facilitate inclusivity and to investigate one’s privileges as a way to deepen one’s practice.  Many participants of the conference reported the experience to be transformative to the organizers and look forward to the conference in 2017.

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