Justice, Equity & The Bhaktishop
Love is a powerful and fierce practice, and real compassion is our best response as conscious beings. Love is the first step. Then, action.
This community has share resources nearing $20,000 in the past few years with local and national organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, Sankofa Collective, the Chinook Indian Nation, IRCO.org, The Multnomah County WIC, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, Coalition of Communities of Color, Southern Poverty Law Center, Living Yoga, 350.org, Homeless Houston, the Los Ambulantes Puerto Rico Rescue Efforts, the MRG Foundation, Futures Without Violence, Honor the Earth and the Standing Rock Legal Defense Fund. For 2018, we are committed to donating to organizations that support indigenous people and people of color in many different ways, beginning with Portland Equity in Actions' Stolen Angel's Billboard Project and continuing with The Movement for Black Lives, Sri Rama Ashram, the Womxn and Femmes of Color Organizing for Racial Justice, The Queering Yoga Documentary and the Electoral Justice League. Stay tuned for more events and opportunities to be active in giving, participation and community-building.
Who's land are you living on? Many of us are settlers, immigrants or descendants of those forcefully brought to this land, and it is our collective responsibility to pay respect to and recognize that this land is the traditional territory of the non-federally recognized Chinook Nation. However, the land was actually ceded from them in the 1855 Willamette Valley treaty that established the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. We are here because this land was occupied, and its traditional people were displaced by colonists and settlers. In recognizing that this business occupies colonized Native territory and out of respect for the rights of Native people, it is our collective responsibility to critically interrogate the colonial histories and present day implications of this systemic oppression, and to honor, protect and sustain this land upon which we are settled. If you are so moved, you may take the opportunity here to find a way to give to the Native people of this land by way of a single or recurring donation, or by way of their tribal wish list, which you can find here. We are actively involved in creating a relationship with this Nation by way of monthly reparations donation, letter writing on their behalf to government bodies asking to recognize them as a sovereign nation, and in meaningful community education. “Also remember the folks who were forcefully brought to this land whose labor was stolen who also had to be stewards of this land.” ~Ash Williams
(*logo used with express written permission from the artist, tribal member Tony Johnson, and the Chinook Nation)
The Bhaktishop's Equity and Inclusion Commitment:
In an effort to broaden equity in the field of yoga, each year we will offer at least one Full and Two partial work-trade Equity Scholarships for a Person of Color or member of other marginalized group to attend our yoga school training program. We recognize that it is difficult to do the work of access to self-care for all when some populations do not see themselves represented in the yoga practices, studios, and publications/media around them.
We believe that there is a deep need for diverse voices to teach yoga in all communities. We are also committed to supporting and cultivating the people, language and approaches that most effectively communicate yoga teachings and informed community-building work. Please inquire here if you or someone you know are interested in these scholarships.
The community, business and teachers of The Bhaktishop are deeply invested in staff training, meaningful self-education, and building the knowledge, skill and human resource necessary to invest in a more equitable business model. We're creating conversations about race, gender dynamics, inclusion, trauma-informed practices, and equity on a daily basis here, and aim to make use of these skills in a broader capacity in the yoga community.
Our efforts to decolonize yoga:
In an ever-increasing effort to understand the effects of and un-do the damage done by cultural appropriation and the white colonization of yoga, we are engaged in education about these topics in an ongoing way. If you are interested, you can click here to read up on this and other topics related to colonialism, supremacy and the theft of knowledge on the Decolonizing Yoga website.
Another way that we have attempted to stay engaged in reciprocity and repair with the roots of yoga, so that we are not the only ones benefiting from these practices, is by donating monthly a portion of The Bhaktishop's income to ashrams and organizations in India and beyond since 2008. These organizations and ashrams represent and educate about the culture from which yoga emerged, and they also participate in its continuation/dissemination for both local Indian people and others that have learned directly from them. We attempt to engage in cultural appreciation rather than appropriation as much as possible in relation to the teachings of yoga, and aim to be faithful stewards of those teachings.
And so we don't forget what we are all in it for, here is a lovely kirtan chant from Lisa Mae and Monicka. Please don't forget to sing, dance, write poems, and read stories. We are capable of great things in love and intimacy.