Our second principle calls us to affirm “justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” Justice and compassion are often talked about, but we rarely focus on equity. What does it mean to be an equitable people?
This month we explore the meaning of equity through a variety of lenses: racial, gender, the truth and reconciliation process, even how to make cities more equitable spaces. This is a difficult topic as we can’t discuss equity without recognizing privilege and it can be hard to acknowledge our inadvertent participation in inequity.
While I have occasionally experienced discrimination based on gender – as a white, middle class, educated, able bodied, heterosexual cis-gendered person in Canada, I have an enormous amount of personal privilege. It is easy to take that privilege for granted – to live in “the bubble” – without ever noticing the systemic injustices which make life more challenging for people of colour, the LGBTQ community, people living in poverty and others. But without awareness and acknowledgement we won’t be able to find our way to being part of the solution. This month is an exercise in awareness, in deepening our understanding of these complex and difficult issues.
I invite everyone to be gentle with themselves and one another this month, to be open to difficult truths, and stay grounded with a favourite spiritual practice.
This month’s Michael Franti video is an emotional plea for the necessity of change. Franti wrote this after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.