Ethics, Racism and the Shambhala Community: continuing conversation about lessons provided by Rev. angel Kyodo williams

November 17th

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    Room: Library or other space

    This talk was prompted by dialogue with Dr. Jasmine Syedullah (co-author of Radical Dharma and one of Rev. angel Kyodo williams’ co-presenters in Philadelphia) about the difficulties involved in conveying the history of racism and racialization to a community which, though largely white, comprises a diverse range of people with a diverse range of experiences with racism. 

    Within Shambhala, what is the difference between people who have very little experience with racism and those who have extensive and recurrent experiences with racism? Is it easier for those who have not been attuned to the ongoing legacies of racism in their lives to “deconstruct” (Rev. angel’s term) racist encounters and experiences, than for those who have been on the “front lines” of racialization, both as a phenomenon as well as something to confront? 

    Prof. Michael Hanchard will discuss the difficulties of speaking to multiple communities within a singular community of Buddhist practitioners and meditators, and will offer personal and ethical reflections on how ethical responses to quotidian racisms are, in fact, symptomatic of the strategies of  marginalized and oppressed people seeking pathways to freedom away from those people and institutions seeking to harm, ensnare or even erase them.

    Admission is free and open to all.

    Michael Hanchard is a Professor in the Africana Studies Department at The University of Pennsylvania, and director of the Marginalized Populations project.  His research and teaching interests combine a specialization in comparative politics with an interest in contemporary political theory, encompassing themes of nationalism, racism,  xenophobia and citizenship. He is the author of, most recently, The Spectre of Race: How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracy (Princeton, 2018). See his full bio here.