Below is a complete copy of “Making the Invisible Visible” which was a booklet collected and edited by a community group of practitioners, of which I was privileged to be a part. Our original purpose was to present stories and life experiences of practitioners of color to the Teachers of Buddhism in the West Conference held at Spirit Rock in June of 2002. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in attendance and was presented a copy of this document.
An interesting booklet filled with personal experiences and critical essays of racism in Zen/Buddhist centers written by practitioners of color. Along with Stuart Lachs article “Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves” (link on my Zen page) this is good reading for anyone starting Buddhist practice that thinks it will be any different that other religions in this aspect.
I particularly liked Section Three: Practical Suggestions and Strategies
This section was written primarily by European American practitioners from varied Buddhist traditions with feedback from Buddhist practitioners of color. One intention was to acknowledge that work in Diversity and Racism is the joint responsibility of European Americans and Communities of Color.
This section outlines several practical and easy steps for any sangha (large or small) to follow to increase diversity and bring the topics of racism and exclusivity to the forefront (usually it hangs in the background). These strategies are open for any Buddhist Periodicals to peruse as well, particularly
Facilitate People of Color to take on teaching, administrative, board and staff positions
and my favorite…
Create a forum in your sangha where practitioners can express their views and feelings on what it is like to be a part of your sangha
I hope that most of these Buddhist blogs, online resources and social networking sites can be a way of doing this.
PS ~ another article I found was Widening the Circle: Black Communities and Western Buddhist Convert Sanghas by Sharon Smith in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.