Social Justice & 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 raised over $8000 for various organizations in 2016 that are dear to us, from Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock and Planned Parenthood to the ACLU and Human Rights Campaign. In 2017 we sent over $10,000 go to Sankofa Collective, Planned Parenthood, 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 people of color in many different ways, beginning with Portland Equity in Actions' Stolen Angel's Billboard Project. Stay tuned for more events and opportunities to be active in giving, participation and community-building. Thank you for taking an active role in your own way; all of us are vital to the process of civil discourse and have a responsibility to act both locally and globally to do what we can, with the gifts and talents we have, for as many as we can. Not everyone is moved to take action in the same ways, or via the same avenues. There are marchers and noisemakers, those with money to give but no time to spare, those that make art and encourage freedom of expression, those that educate and write articles, sing songs, run for office, make phone calls, teach teachers, hold hands, heal hearts, and more. All are needed, and no action is too small to take. And remember, Despair Is Not A Strategy.
We aim to create a place where those seeking opportunities to make a difference can come and find actionable steps they can take every day to allow their voices to be heard, to take care of each other, and to move toward love and compassion for all beings. We recognize that social justice is inherently political, and that there may from time to time be items we suggest or stances that we take that are not to your particular politics, or that are not a good fit for your belief systems. Please, if that is the case, just move on to the next item and choose to act in favor of something that does fit your paradigm, or ask questions about it so we can encourage a safe place to discuss ideas in an open and civil environment. Listening to each other is what we desperately need more of these days, and we encourage that.
Here are some ways in which we are currently serving the community and beyond, and some ways that you, too, can get involved, raise your voice and use your energy toward the freedom from suffering that yoga speaks about, and that you can work to change. We have a powerful community, and we at The Bhaktishop are grateful to harness that power.
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.
Other ways to participate in your civic culture:
IN OREGON: If you are someone that is inspired to make calls to your elected officials and ask for the changes you want to see locally, please use this link here for phone numbers, action steps, and calling/writing scripts.
OR TRY THIS AMAZING DOCUMENT HERE FOR TONS MORE IDEAS AND CONNECTIONS BEYOND OREGON.
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.