As a spiritual community, we cultivate the expression of all the qualities of our Divine Source—love, intelligence, harmony, order, etc. The result is the forming of a connection with the Divine and an inevitable urge to relieve the sufferings of others.
As Spirit-centered and compassionate beings, what is ours to do in this time when suffering is exposed everywhere so that we make permanent and positive changes? How do we cement in place our new understanding of compassionate living so we don’t revert to the old “normal?”
Here are some suggestions from people in our community recorded at open community meetings. These thoughts represent ideas that came forward spontaneously in our community meetings in a brainstorming session and are personal to those who made them.
Inform yourself: Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World by Leyla Saad.
Get more educated about the African American experience. Learn about it so you can talk freely about how it feels to realize that, without meaning to or wanting to hurt anyone, we have been part of the problem.
As CSLSR, create a community forum that lasts more than an hour, like the one that’s being done through our national organization. And invite the greater community.
See the www.medium.com website on “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.”
Attend groups to talk about inclusivity, diversity, “White Fragility.”
Attend classes and other education events on Black Lives Matter and White Privilege. The “unlearning” about white privilege needs to be a life-long commitment.
Find out if our police department is using the right cameras.
Explore what is getting in the way of social justice right now.
Research vetted suggestions for where to contribute financially to Black institutions.
Stay open to change and not just hold on to what’s familiar.
Stay open to the question—keep it conscious so we don’t miss an opportunity to do good and come to a new realization.
Explore how to get our vision out into the public view when media often covers the sensational, the violent.
Keep educating yourself and this situation and helping each other learn.
Take an online course on white privilege so we’re better able to effectively and consciously be in the world.
Participate in group discussions in our community.
Educate yourself about what is going on now and what has happened in the past.
Participate in a Me & White Supremacy book group (Interfaith).
Find platforms and groups to participate in structured conversation.
Find a place where demonstrations are announced.
More and more conversations with friends, peers, colleagues, about racism.
Create “Circles of Connection” with focus on providing resources for discussion for each group to select. For example: Lists of books, lists of podcasts, 10 things that white people can do, etc.
Explore the roots of what has been enculturated in US. Have courage to share and discuss.
Contribute to groups that are working on the ground.
Get involved in local politics/government to change policy.
Continue to raise awareness through conversation.
Listen. Open up to another’s reality, what is being shared from hearts, political stances, from humanity, and recognize that my thinking has been enculturated.
Begin a dialogue with people in our community of diverse backgrounds; e.g., the team that puts on Black History month.
Talk about what’s going on with our own families.
Explore how we can make Diversity discussion groups more inviting, less intimidating.
Create a resource list for the CSLSR website.
Don’t let things happen without speaking up.
Talk to our African American members; seek their advice, perspective.
Explore which organizations to provide financial support to.
Elevate the voices of our young people so they’re heard.
Follow up as a society on all the promises we have made to communities of color.
Help to tear down the walls.
Volunteer with the voting and election process.
Elect politicians that will work for all people.
Hold a Juneteenth celebratory party as an opportunity to open up a conversation between Black, white, and all others.
Host a book study group.
Hold regular focused prayer vigils.
Listen to trustworthy information sources, the people you know and love who have been discriminated against.
Listen with an open heart. Listening to story after story opens the heart.
Donate to social justice organizations, like Southern Poverty Law.
Invest in a Black-run bank.
Google Black-owned businesses in Sonoma County and make an effort to support them.
Watch the movie “The 13Th.”
Put positive posts on Facebook and other social media.
Support police and highway patrol. They are working long shifts—12 hours on, 12 off.
Demonstrate with other similar spiritual groups and carry candles (votives) to spread the idea of peace.
Speak up when you see injustices; speak your truth; don’t let things we see pass—speak up.
Be an ally—if you witness racism, stand up and speak out: physically stand beside the person being bullied.
Plan relatable things at the Center on this issue.
Promote more opportunities to connect.
Reach out within our own community through the Being and Belonging (formerly diversity group). Promote this group to our community.
Use the Arts: 30-minute Practitioner sessions using music and movement.
Develop one or more groups of people who are activists.
The Center could make a declaration such as taking out a full-page ad in the Press Democrat sharing our beliefs and how we honor people.
Give a safe space for people of color to share as a way to address racism.
Encourage local officials to hold forums for large and small discussion groups. Virtual for now but in person when safe to do so.
An ongoing monthly prayer vigil about eradicating/bringing consciousness to racism.
Have a weekly “challenge” to encourage everyone to do something.
Encourage local leaders to reach out to protesters.
Petition to rename police officers to peace officers.
Go to a predominately Black church and do something.
Find places to post our message, especially Sunday talks, so those who have a “home” church but like what they’ve heard at the Center can get the message without having to attend.
Start small: chalk a message on a sidewalk, talk to a neighbor.
Apply the Science of Mind principles daily: explore and uncover beliefs, biases, stories, and shift consciousness.
Take time every day to remember you intend to come from love and be that.
Find a way to find the positive in all this trauma, not from an anger or fear base but with a vision for a more just future.
Hold consciousness. Keep doing our work. Know the safety of all concerned.
Meditate and pray a lot in order be a light for those in fear.
Hold the “high watch” and hold our community in love and compassion.
Keep doing what we do as religious scientists—treat for peace, love, equality.
Look at our own fears, own them, and forgive them.
Take silence for a day to meditate, pray, and reflect.
Acknowledge the roiling before a paradigm shift. The old doesn’t die easily. The new isn’t yet formed or clear. We do not know what the new way looks like or the path to get there but we continue to affirm the highest good for all.
Be more understanding about what people of color have experienced and are now experiencing. There is not only the skin color to consider, but the cultural differences that tend to be overlooked.
Let yourself be awkward and not know the answers.
Notice your biases when they show up.
Don’t buy into fear.
Remember how powerful deep listening can be.
Take one step at a time, by learning and cleaning up our own act.
As you explore, have mercy on yourself. The object is to be aware and embrace change, not to beat ourselves up. Forgive us, for we know now what we did.
First is to see there is nothing to fix, just the wholeness of the Divine to reveal.
Donate to NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and other local and national organizations, including politicians that will take right action on this issue.