Office of Social Engagement Statement


Dear Shambhala Community,

This past week, we have witnessed and felt the heartbreak of the violent atrocities committed by hate groups including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, white supremacists, white nationalists, ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Our Shambhala society condemns these deplorable and hateful actions.

In the United States, hate groups gathered together from all over the country to instill fear as they marched with tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia demanding the country become a nation of white people. The next day, a car drove into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a 32 year-old-woman and injuring 19 others. In Spain, one of the most violent days in recent history occurred with multiple terrorist attacks occurring in Barcelona and around the country that took the lives of 14 people and left more than 80 injured.

Many of us may be feeling sad, angry, numb, confused and a range of other emotions. In this past year, we have witnessed so many hate crimes, acts of terrorism, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and injustices in our world.

Now more than ever, we are being asked to step up as Warriors. What this looks like may be different for all of us, nevertheless, we are all being asked to search deeper within ourselves than we ever have before, and to act.

Before we take action, it is important for all of us to deeply feel whatever pain, fear, anger and sadness we may be feeling. Then, it is important that we begin to engage in dialogue as much as possible using the wealth of forms we have in our community. As we gather together, we can find our voices and collectively speak out against racism, systemic oppression, hatred, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. From there, we may discover as a community how we will choose to act. There may be other organizations with which to volunteer your time, you may choose to be part of local marches, or you may choose to have a deep conversation about racism within your family or to take a closer look at your own biases. No matter how we each choose to be involved, now is the time to find some way, no matter how small, to be involved.

Let us come together as a community and support one another, listen to one another, care for one another, and be unafraid to gently call out any acts of ignorance, violence, bias or hatred that we see in each other within our own community. This is the only way we can grow stronger together.

With love and appreciation,
Shambhala Office of Social Engagement

Aarti Tejuja – Director, Office of Social Engagement
Minister Joshua Silberstein – Chair, Kalapa Council
Minister Jane Arthur – Kalapa Council
Minister Adam Lobel – Kalapa Council
Marguerite Drescher – Social Engagement Council
Acharya Arawana Hayashi – Social Engagement Council
Acharya Gaylon Ferguson – Social Engagement Council
Charlene Leung – Chair, Diversity Working Group