Wise Action – undoing racism

NOTE: the resources below were developed in the USA, but the general principles can be translated to other countries.
And, if anyone is aware of similar resources from other parts of the world, please let me know.

Love Everyone: A Guide for Spiritual Activists

by Sharon Salzberg and Rev. angel Kyodo williams

… love is what I’ve focused on, because in social justice work the only option is loving everyone. Other- wise, there is no path to real change. Whether we’re leaning toward the spiritual community or the activist community, what we need is the combination of a mind that wants to change the world and a mind that is steady, clearseeing, and seeks change from a place of love, rather than from a place of anger.
Lion’s Roar magazine 18 August 2017

Harvard implicit bias test

Project Implicit is a long-term research project based at Harvard University that aims to measure people’s preferences for certain social groups over others.

You can take tests in relation to race, gender, body size and so on here:

EBMC shrine 1
Shrine at East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland CA

Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin Di Angelo

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is the author of What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy and has been an anti-racist educator, and has heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades.

This justification, which she calls “white fragility,” is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.


Deep Diversity, Overcoming Us vs. Them 

by Shakil Choudhury 2015

Chapter 5 Power: The Dividing Force

“Social hierarchies exist in all nations, creating inequality and serving as the source of most forms of intergroup conflict.

… social dominance theory states that a dominant group exists in each society.  The group receives privilege based on a relatively arbitrary value such as race, ethnicity, clan or caste due to historical, economic and political reasons specific to that context.  There is no innate or natural reason for such dominance to occur – no one social group is more capable or deserving than another.  …

Usually a group at the top of the power pyramid is granted automatic privilege – unearned higher status based on their group identity.  All other groups – usually defined by a ‘minority’ status – exist in a hierarchical order below and experience a greater or lesser degree of marginalization.

… [researchers have found] a variety of ways in which hierarchies are supported in our society, including the following:

  • individual acts of discrimination
  • institutional discrimination
  • psychological distortions
  • self-destructive behaviours
  • cultural myths”

White Awake: Waking ourselves for the benefit of all

Life is a beautiful thing. It should be enjoyed, protected, and nurtured. Unfortunately, we find ourselves living through a time when the cultivation of beauty and peace is thwarted by greed and delusion. Oppressive forces are emboldened, and already marginalized communities are facing increased attack. Standing up to these forces, dismantling an exploitative system, and building a life sustaining society will take millions of people, from all walks of life, organizing ourselves and acting in concrete, powerful ways. In this context, popular education helps masses of people build a common frame of reference and engage in spiritual, emotional, and cultural transformation such that we do not replicate the harmful systems we aim to replace.


Insight Meditation Society diversity resources

Recommended reading, talks, films, and websites


Short interviews with IMS teachers speaking about their relationship to diversity work


Undoing Racism: The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone.

Our workshops utilize a systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism.

I had the opportunity to attend one of their workshops in NYC a few years ago, and it was incredibly powerful. Highly recommended!


Podcast: Seeing White

A 14-part documentary series exploring whiteness in America—where it came from, what it means, and how it works.


Me And White Supremacy – The Workbook

“Part education, part activation, the Me And White Supremacy Workbook by Laya F. Saad, is a first-of-its-kind personal anti-racism tool for people holding white privilege to begin to examine and dismantle their complicity in the oppressive system of white supremacy.
As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West and lives in the East, Layla has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives. Layla’s work is driven by her powerful desire to become a ‘good ancestor’; to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone.”