Inclusion and Exclusion in the White Space: An Investigation of the Experiences of People of Color in a Primarily White American Meditation Community
Keywords:Buddhism in America, Racialized Exclusion, Critical Race Studies
AbstractMore people of color have begun to attend American convert Buddhist communities that have, until recently, been almost exclusively white in composition. This study seeks to explore the ways in which people of color experience racialized inclusion and exclusion in one such community. Utilizing a phenomenological methodology to examine the experiences of eleven participants of color, the present study extrapolates six distinct themes related to their experiences of racialized inclusion and exclusion. These themes are Interpersonal Barriers to Full Participation, Institutional Barriers to Full Participation, Strategies for Coping with Racialized Exclusion, Failures of Leadership Support for People of Color, Range of POC Experiences, and Promoting Equity and Inclusion. Following the explication of themes, the authors offer recommendations for primarily white meditation communities to help guide their efforts toward greater inclusion and equity for people of color.
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