Sat Nam. What follows is a response to a directive received by ACT (Adhoc Committee 13) to provide documentation that fulfills the required protocols for presenting a Motion for consideration by the Khalsa Council of Sikh Dharma.
.) What problem(s) does this Motion address?
.) What solutions are proposed? Provide relevant background info/available research to support the motion and provide relevant context.
.) Who is responsible for implementation?
.) What is the projected time line for implementation?
.) Who and or what is affected and/or impacted by the Motion?
.) What are the anticipated costs?
.) How will the costs be covered? Identify responsible parties; propose a budget and outline the method of accountability. Read on.
To the Khalsa Council of Sikh Dharma:
Sat Nam. ACT, Adhoc Committee13, is of the one mind that our best and only course of action going forward is to acknowledge the current and almost spontaneous worldwide trend to address the twin issues of Equality, i.e., Diversity Sensitivity, and Social Justice.
In the most recent monthly Rotary Magazine, 75% of the issue is about People of Color, especially African, and African-descendant people, many of whom are Rotarians themselves. It's a first... so overboard that it appears the publisher has suddenly awakened to this worldwide trend.
And in the same time frame, we see Sikh (Punjabi) organizations opening up in their dialogue with other religions and peoples, and an outpouring of connections to African and African-descendant peoples. It's astonishing. It's a paradigm shift. It's a new Age.
And so, it's with a sense of urgency that our Dharma needs to get on board with this global trend...needs to be a leader of this trend. Reflecting on all that the Guru’s have proclaimed about equality and inclusion, Sikhs are the natural and appropriate organization to rise to the occasion. It's Sikh Dharma's destiny.
Khalsa Council must understand that time and change is of the essence. Khalsa Council needs to rise to the occasion, now. But first, our leaders need to clean their own house, i.e., the majority of our legacy family is older and 'colorless', i.e., senior and White, many with histories, experiences and mind set that may not take kindly to 'coloreds', i.e., non-Whites – try as they might. So, the situation is tantamount to the Kundalini Yoga teacher needing to first experience a kriya before teaching it. ("Teach what you know. Don't teach what you don't know." Yogi Bhajan)
3HO/Sikh Dharma has its issues with Diversity Sensitivity, i.e., multicultural competency, along with just about every other worldwide organization. It’s part of an evolutionary and revolutionary learning curve. We need to understand going forward that Sikhs must rise to this occasion, this opportunity, or be left behind. The Siri Singh Sahib invested too much effort and sacrifice. We must move forward with the Guru's and Yogi Bhajan's teachings. We have to become 10 times greater. According to the Master, we must become Masters in order to maintain the Golden Chain, unbroken. Diversity, Inclusion, Equality for All is our frontier. We own it. And we need to step right up to the Diversity Sensitivity line and go beyond. Read on.
.) The problem we need to address concerns our getting on board with the worldwide trend before we get left behind. The issue of People of Color not perceiving their inclusion in our organization is shared worldwide. We have been designated by Yogi Bhajan to be teachers and leaders. We need to step up to the issues of Diversity Sensitivity and Inclusion now (see Definitions), so we are not left behind. Sikh Dharma is unique in so many ways, but not unique on the issue of Inclusion. In order to be leaders, we need to fix this. First, we need to clean our own house, so we can be pure of mind and spirit, going forward. We can then deal with issues evoking more genuinely the Word of Guru and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and resolve to lead, teach and carry humanity forward into the Aquarian Age. These times demand it of us.
.) Inclusion is everywhere. Rotary International has started a sincere campaign for equality and peace. Magazines of all sorts are honoring, profiling and uplifting People of Color. Organizations everywhere are getting on board, now. When KRI, Kundalini Reseach Institute, put (Black) Krishna Kaur on the cover of a women’s yoga manual recently it was a total success. People everywhere long to belong in their hearts. Just step out the door, turn on the TV or read a newspaper or a magazine. There has been a sudden, quantum, paradigm shift. There are plenty of indications the old is hanging on. We all know the Piscean Age will not die peaceably. But die it will, and 3HO/Sikh Dharma needs to genuinely get on board with Guru Nanak's mission.
.) At this point Diversity Sensitivity implementation is only discussed within a committee. But it needs to have a permanent place in the agenda at Khalsa Council meetings where it is openly discussed. It's being discussed elsewhere, as well. We are not alone. There needs to be space to: (a) implement; (b) empower Diversity 'Sensitivity Summit' to become a movement; (c) create a teacher's module so it becomes something every KRI teacher is taught, and teaches; (d) then build a certification protocol whereby Kundalini Yoga teachers, Sikh Dharma ministers, and others are certified to teach Diversity Sensitivity to governments, businesses and educational institutions; (e) possibly, be a source of income. See 8 Things White Need To Understand About Race. Also see Why Do Millennials Not Understand Racism?
.) The time line is Summer Solstice 2015. A lot of people have an interest. We have people of African descent who have lived through experiences in the world community and within 3HO/Sikh Dharma that need a voice so that everybody can truly understand the issues, and then working together, we can come to solutions. We have people in the Dharma who have first hand experience and will kindly share with us their deep convictions about what needs to be corrected within our organizations and the consciousness of many peoples of the Earth. What an opportunity Guru has presented us. 3HO/Sikh Dharma has brilliant People of Color, i.e., people of African, Asian, Native American, etc., descent, who feel comfortable in the presence of spiritual family to express the truth that can help us discover our collective center of compassion so we can teach, even become certified to teach Diversity Sensitivity, something so needed, so desired, and so important. The time line is critical. To identify our own issues and get them out in the openness of our consciousness, and move on quickly so we can stay on the leading edge of the blossoming trend. (Suggested reading for Khalsa Council members and the Sadh Sangat... Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? )
.) Who is this affecting? The very consciousness of the planet, and the very essence of spirituality? The next frontier for complete spirituality is the implementation of equality for all. This message began with Guru Nanak, it was solidified by Martin Luther King. It is spreading right now. And we need to teach it. Our biggest gift to the planet is the words of Guru Nanak that all are equal, no matter what. It’s the essence of Sikh sacrifices, taking up the sword, and laying down lives for others, even those in opposition to our views. It is the message of the Aquarian Age.
.) Anticipated costs? Does that mean what it will cost to do, or what it will cost if we don’t? I believe the cost will be so much higher if we don’t. Our very existence may depend on it – too high a cost. Cost will include listening to our own voices within the organization, finding solutions, listening further and further outward until we know what is really going on, and then finding solutions within the context of teaching and serving, going back to the Guru and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and creating the Diversity Sensitivity Certification. At that point the costs reverse themselves – even to the point of profit. So, if it takes $100,000 to research, analyze and find solutions within, it will yield millions on the other side when we teach. It is an investment in the future of the Dharma so generations to follow can earn a living teaching how to be Conscious Humans. And isn’t that what the Siri Singh Sahib taught all along? This is the fulfillment of the teachings. What is that worth?
.) How about a $10,000 grant to start research and development? Once Diversity Sensitivity opens up to discussion and people come forward with their stories, we will need to create a clearinghouse of these stories, which starts the training and opening our own wounds to heal. Ultimately, the initial investment could reach as much as $100,000 over a 2-year period. If the Kundalini Research Institute and/or the Sikh Dharma is going to administer the ultimate Diversity Sensitivity Certification program, a fair amount of the dollars could come from these two entities. It should first be a Dharmic entity since it deals with consciousness and teaching. But we should get it started in any way possible. Funding can come from private, Dharmic, business, organization or perhaps even government, if we develop an outstanding program. Diversity Sensitivity is a worldwide trend. And being on the leading edge of this trend will yield profit. Investment is required in order to create profit.
"From today onward we will neither live with each other or
at each other, but honestly, before God and Guru we will
live for each other." Sikh Dharma Minister's Vows
"Khalsa Council embodies the sovereign, spiritual, status of the Sikhs.
In action it is the parliament of the Sarkar e Khalsa. It is the leadership.
It is a body that lives in the divinity, nobility, and grace of God. What
comes through the Khalsa Council is simply projective kindness,
compassion, divinity, nobility, and grace. It is the very embodiment
of grace, radiance, lifestyle and projection of Guru Gobind Singh." Siri Singh Sahib Harbhahan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, Dec 28, 1991
"As Ministers we are obliged to practice what we teach using
only occasional words. Our actions teach louder than words."
"People of Color who remain silent enable White people to remain culturally
illiterate. It is incumbent on those who know to teach those who do not know.
Bottom line is that the 3HO/Sikh Dharma community must hear from people of
color, i.e., people of African, Asian, Native American, etc., descent, as to their
perception of the organization, as it is, today. Given the history of human nature,
Sikh Dharma can avoid creeping into exclusivity by monitoring the perceptions of People of Color. Sikh Dharma is an inclusive as opposed to an exclusive path.
As Sikhs we need to practice what we teach." M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
*NOTE -- Cultural Competence comprises four components: (a) Awareness of one's own cultural worldview, (b) Attitude towards cultural differences, (c) Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) Cross-cultural skills. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. See Recommended Reading. See Required Reading. More.
WHEREAS Guru Nanak Devji founded Sikh Dharma as an inclusive pathway of service whereby ALL people may prosper by God's grace;
And WHEREAS ALL people refers to an intrinsic diversity, inclusive of all the people of planet Earth sans distinction as to race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, culture, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social or economic status, political, psychological, philosophical persuasion or any other Earthly distinction;
And WHEREAS Guru Nanak Devji's mission requires Sikh Dharma to serve according to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib's teachings that requires Sikhs to maintain and to teach a keen appreciation for the God-given and unique assets of each individual, in honor of the diversity of ALL people;
And WHEREAS Sikhs may encounter challenges arising from inadequate sensitivity whilst serving, teaching and interacting with people that represent the races, ideas, beliefs, lifestyles, religions, orientations, demographics and customs that differ from those of their upbringing or current Sikh communities;
And WHEREAS People of Color in the 3HO/Sikh Dharma community of teachers, students, practitioners and friends, desire the opportunity to present their unique perspective as People of Color representing the 3HO/Sikh Dharma organizations to the world community, and give the organizations a treasure of sometimes unheard voices to more fully understand their experience and view of these important issues;
And WHEREAS the Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji called upon us to follow the direction of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib in that ALL people are creatures of the One Creator, Ek Ong Kar, and therefore deserve all honor and respect by virtue of their having been created by the One Creator;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Khalsa Council of Sikh Dharma shall convene at their next meeting a newly authorized biannual 'Sensitivity Summit' each Summit to include 'Light on Diversity' conversations with members of color in joint session with the Siblings of Destiny. More.
"The most courageous, and pious act of a human is to be with another human,
because we are like stars in the sky, born at one time and space, to be ourselves.
Everybody is our neighbor. All we have to do is say, "I am with you." When you
start being one with everybody, then you are actually with God, because if
you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all." Siri Singh Sahib
"People like to see whether you wear white, or you are white;
whether you look holy, or you are holy." Siri Singh Sahib
"It is time to convene a biannual Sensitivity Summit for the
purpose of promoting the inclusion and treatment of all people
equally and without prejudice irrespective of race, color, national
origin, gender, age, disability, culture, religion, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, marital status, social or economic status, or political,
psychological or philosophical persuasion, or any other Earthly
consideration or distinction." M.S.S. Hari Singh Bird Khalsa