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As a governing board, the leadership would be grounded in practice and study first of all, and they would promote the understanding of diversity as intrinsic to creating an enlightened society. — Response to the Practitioner Survey, Fall 2004. Diversity Working Group, Shambhala practitioner of color.

Our Goals

  • To develop a scholarship fund to support North American People of Color who are interested in furthering their practice and studies in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage.
  • To provide funds to People of Color to enable them to receive the training they need to be fully active in the Shambhala Buddhist community.
  • To encourage diversity among those in leadership roles.
  • To benefit the community by cultivating leaders, teachers, and active participants who will supportĀ People of Color along the path and contribute to building a more diverse Shambhala society.

Removing Barriers

Our vision for initiating the SPOCSF is to remove the barriers that limit participation in advanced Shambhala programs and to enable People of Color to further their practice and studies in Shambhala Buddhism. Our efforts are in harmony with the work of the Diversity Working Group, which is also addressing access to programs for underrepresented groups throughout the international Shambhala organization.

The SPOCSF addresses two goals identified by the Diversity Working Group:

  • To reduce costs for attending programs for underrepresented members for whom tuitions are prohibitive, and
  • To develop a diverse group of teachers, Meditation Instructors, Shambhala Guides, etc. Our vision is to support the aspirations of People of Color to take on greater responsibility in Shambhala leadership, teaching, and mentoring roles to increase diversity at those levels within our North American community.

Supporting People of Color

At this time, due to particular needs in this region, the SPOCSF has been created to focus on assistance for People of Color in North America. We recognize that many groups in other areas are also in need of assistance, but we are proceeding with our efforts to address a specific need within the sangha. In the future, if this program operates successfully, our initiative may be expanded to cover needs in other areas. We do recognize that other members in our community have financial difficulties; however our vision in establishing this scholarship is to provide support specifically to People of Color so they may become full, participating members and contribute to the creation of an enlightened society.