“Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” 
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ARISE Sangha (Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity) is a community of mindfulness practitioners and monastics who come together to heal the wounds of racial injustice and social inequity, beginning with looking deeply within ourselves and using the energy of compassion, understanding, and love in action.

As practitioners in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, we aspire to engage our global community in the work of healing through social action. We seek to nourish and protect Beloved Community in our sangha and beyond.

Mission and Vision

  • Co-create a network within the Plum Village community for practitioners who are interested in racial justice and social equity issues
  • Co-create a sacred, courageous space for discussion and exchange as well as the sharing of resources on bridging mindfulness and social justice work
  • Encourage diversity and leadership by people of color within the mahasangha and Order of Interbeing (OI) 
  • Serve as a resource and offer presentations and workshops on race, intersectionality, and social equity at retreats, sangha gatherings, and other mindfulness events

Our Call to Practice

Following the guidance Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to build and nourish Beloved Community, we seek to encourage the Manyfold Sangha to:

  • Look deeply and explore the roots of suffering caused by racial injustice and social inequity
  • Listen deeply and with compassion to oneself and to others to gain understanding of the causes and conditions that give rise to racial injustice and social inequity 
  • Explore the inter-connectedness of systemic racial, ethnic, gender, and economic inequity within our sangha and society at large
  • Explore ancestral healing and its relatedness to reach understanding in ourselves and in others
  • Transform patterns of exclusiveness regarding power, inequity in resources, implicit bias, and disparities in privilege 
  • Study and utilize available resources to deepen understanding of racial justice and social inequity in conjunction with mindful practices
  • Engage in a process of understanding and building Beloved Community by:
    • Creating safe and loving spaces for people of color to heal from the trauma of racial injustice
    • Creating safe and loving spaces for white allies to look deeply, understand, and heal from implicit bias and other forms of discrimination
    • Creating safe and loving spaces for white allies to understand the systemic legacy of racial inequity and to provide opportunities for learning and practice
    • Creating safe and loving spaces for people of color and white allies to come together to look deeply and engage in healing together
    • Looking deeply at and addressing the under-representation of people of color and low-income people in our individual sanghas and the collective community

We encourage our fellow practitioners all over the world to embark upon these efforts in a spirit of community, trust, understanding, love, and patience – knowing that this is a life’s work, motivated by bodhicitta. We should take on these efforts in ways that are consistent with the example and teachings of Thay and the Five and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, and in a manner that reflects a one-step, one-breath, deeply present approach to each task and to everyday life. 

ARISE Core Group

  • Antoinette González
  • Kim Fleisher
  • Lori Perine
  • Marisela Gomez
  • Renita Wong
  • Valerie Brown, True Power of the Sangha
  • Victoria Mausisa, True Eternal Garden

Advisory Members

  • Brian “BK” Kimmel, True Lotus Concentration
  • Diane Little Eagle
  • Jo-Ann Rosen
  • Jon Salunga
  • John Bell
  • Kaira Jewel-Lingo
  • Lyn Fine
  • Minh-Chau Le, True Manifestation of Goodness