NBHC has had a relationship with the Marin Interfaith Council (MIC) for years centered on collaboration and building community. In response to the death of George Floyd and our national awakening to racial and social injustices, it was natural to come back to this partnership to forge a path forward.
Discussions through MIC have focused specifically on how Marin's faith community can promote racial justice and dismantle systemic racism, specifically here in Marin County. While not on the Board of MIC, NBHC has been taking active part in a series of meetings focused on this issue. It is important to note that while these efforts are focused on Marin County, NBHC is committed to addressing this issue for our community in the Greater North Bay, including Sonoma County.
The following themes have emerged as possible next steps, as highlighted by MIC Executive Director Rev. Scott Quinn:
Ongoing spiritually-rooted groups to support people's personal transformation in regard to internalized racism and complicity with structural racism. These might be cross-denominational/inter-religious groups with people from different faith groups meeting together.
Local action to address effects of structural racism. One specific interest is addressing local inequity in education.
Dialogue groups composed of people of different races in which people listen, foster understanding, build deep relationships, and become skillful, trusted allies for our common work of racial justice as people of faith.
Of note, NBHC has also listened in on intra-community conversations, including within our own Indian and South Asian communities, in addition to the local Black community. These conversations will play an important role in terms of how we address racial and social justice as a Hindu community, by addressing our own issues and resolving how we can be an ally to our Black sisters and brothers.
Apart from communication, educating ourselves based on factual research and serving as a resource to those in need have been common themes that have emerged through all of our conversations over the last few months.
How we disseminate this information to our community and utilize it for everyone's benefit is part of this process. It is not a short conversation with a quick answer, but will require deliberate thought and action. That being said, you can expect NBHC to address racial justice both through the MIC as well as hold discussions at some point so we can have an open and honest dialogue within our own community.
In Prem and ॐ