The Black Lives Matter movement, which has become a global rallying cry against racism and police brutality, has shined a light on some of the most uncomfortable and darkest aspects of our history, our society, and ourselves.
While we hear calls for the end of racism, violence, and division, we are left with uncomfortable questions. Can racism really be conquered, especially systemic racism? What are our own biases, regardless of our race? Are we doing enough to combat racism, especially while sitting on the meditation cushion? And if we take part in activism, are we getting sucked into the anger, stereotyping, and divisiveness that we are supposedly fighting against?
Professor Jan Willis, one of the earliest American scholar-practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism and Professor Emerita of Religion at Wesleyan University, will help us explore these difficult questions. She will not only draw upon her decades of Buddhist practice and scholarship, but also her personal journey of healing the traumas of racism: growing up in the Jim Crow south, witnessing cross burnings on her lawn, and marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Talk by Professor Jan Willis