A lecture on racial justice and Buddhism

Dr. Ann Gleig, photo supplied

Dr. Ann Gleig, photo supplied

UWinnipeg’s Department of Religion & Culture co-presents a pizza-lunch and lecture, From Being “Enlightened” to Being “Woke”: Racial Justice Work in American Convert Buddhism given by  Dr. Ann Gleig, on Tuesday, March 19 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm, in room 2M70, Manitoba Hall. Gleig is an Associate Professor of Religion and Cultural Studies at the University of Central Florida. She is the author of American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity (Yale University Press, 2019).

American Dharma, book cover

American Dharma, book cover

During her lecture, Dr. Gleig will discuss the creation of a delegation of 125 Buddhists that gathered for the first White House-U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference, in May 2015, in order to deliver a letter entitled, “Buddhist Statement on Racial Justice.”

According to Dr. Gleig, “This letter was an effort to challenge racism and white privilege in American Buddhist convert communities spanning over two decades,” and that “for much of this time, such efforts have been either marginalized or ignored. Due to the combination of a committed network of Buddhist Teachers of Color and the impact of  #BlackLivesMatter, however, such work is being increasingly centred.”

The lecture will examine racial justice and diversity work in American Buddhism. It will highlight the main pragmatic and theoretical strategies employed to integrate racial justice work within Buddhism, as well as consider the opposition that such work has faced. Finally, it will reflect on the significance of such developments for Buddhist modernism in the United States.

This public lecture is sponsored by the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Religion & Culture and Centre for the Liberal Arts and Secular Society, and the University of Manitoba’s Department of Religion.

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