The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) has been at the forefront of culture change to build a world where different voices from all faiths and no faith come to the table to be seen and heard. The Spiritual but Not Religious (SNBR) and all those that do not fit into a box of organized religion are welcome here. The seeker and the mystic are welcome here. And, all those who have been cast out from their communities of faith because of their identities and values are welcome here.
As ChI continued to expand, so too did the conversation around what it means to be an interfaith seminary in a diverse and changing world. In 2017, the Chaplaincy Institute embarked on their own version of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) process with the support of Patricia St.Onge, an Indigenous elder and teacher at ChI and founder of Seven Generations Consulting. She introduced the concept of “Deep Culture” and that term continues to hold our DEI process at ChI.
Deep Culture is the awareness that we all carry attitudes, habits, understandings and ethics, which shape our responses, reactions and awareness to ourselves and others. Each individual learns and is influenced by thoughts and beliefs, personal values, and the subtle gradations of interpersonal relationships as expressed in actions and words, hidden and visible by day-by-day details of life as it is lived. Just like in the Cultural Iceberg example below, culture is deep and much of it is not obvious above the surface. If we want to influence it, it is important to understand what lies beneath the surface.
The Deep Culture Hive ((DCH) is a collaborative advisory body to ChI leadership composed of representatives from ChI whose mission is to support ChI to uphold its mission, vision and values to create a culture of radical belonging, where every person feels they are an integrated part of the ChI seminary and larger community. DCH does this through intentional and conscious efforts to consider, engage and value diversity, equity and inclusion including, but not limited to: classroom environment, curriculum development, the hiring process, ethics, right relations and accountability processes amongst faculty, staff, students, clergy and alumni. DCH will strive to carry out this commitment according to the Chaplaincy Institute’s understanding of diversity which includes sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, class, nationality, religion and race/ethnicity.
The Deep Culture Hive is currently composed of the Deep Culture specialist (facilitator), the Dean of Students, the Community Minister, Sacred Justice Ministry (SJM) faculty member, a representative from the board, a representative from the community council, administrative staff, representatives from the ChI student body and ChI Clergy. This body strives to represent diverse cultural and social expressions within the ChI community, and where it does not, to cultivate awareness and allyship to expand our welcome.
Our attention is focused on:
- Transparency to the community and a turning towards our shadows
- Looking at Cultural Operations that Determine Entry (CODE) to match who we say we are with our actions and behaviors
- Making the ChI programs financially accessible to all economic experiences and particularly Black Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC)
- Developing curriculum cohesion across the programs
- Anti-oppression continued training for staff, faculty and students
- Recruitment for more diverse staff and students
- Combing through all written materials for exclusive and outdated language
Once a month, the Hive meeting is open to students, staff and alumni from 12:00 pm PST until 12:30 pm PST, to share input on how ChI is living into its goals to make the Chaplaincy Institute more inclusive. If you would like to get more information, reach out to the Deep Culture Specialist, Wren Ganin-Pinto, email@example.com.
Our Next Open Meeting is March 17th, 2022, 12 noon – 12:30 PM
Wren Ganin-Pinto is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Deep Culture Hive Standing Meeting
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
Join Zoom Meeting
Below are a variety of resources which inform our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion. These and other resources are included in a much longer (and always expanding) list of resources which students in the Sacred Justice Ministry thread are accessing.
Racism & White Supremacy
103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Angela Davis: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/angela-davis
bell hooks: A concise memoriam of this influential scholar’s impact on our world
Lama Rod Owens: https://www.lionsroar.com/protest-is-my-spiritual-practice/
Protest as a Spiritual Practice
Rev Angel Kyodo Williams on the role of mindfulness and meditation in social justice work
Mindfulness for This Moment: Inner Change and Social Justice
Radical Dharma – Interview with angel Kyodo williams (Podcast)
Resmaa Menakem: Somatic Abolitionism, Resmaa Menakem (author, My Grandmother’s Hands)
Ruth King’s Mindful of Race Institute: https://ruthking.net/: “advancing racial awareness and leadership through mindfulness-based educational and group development programs.”
Ruth King, “Healing Racism from the Inside Out”: https://bestselfmedia.com/interview-ruth-king/
Social Justice Movements and Spirituality
2000 verses on Social Justice, Sojourner Magazine
Bayard Rustin: https://www.biography.com/activist/bayard-rustin
Advisor to MLK, activist, gay man
Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis: Poor People’s Campaign
Black Lives Matter as a Spiritual Movement:
Faith Matters Network: https://www.faithmattersnetwork.org/
FAITH MATTERS NETWORK IS A WOMANIST* LED ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON PERSONAL AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION.
Article: He was MLK’s mentor, and his meeting with Gandhi changed history. But Howard Thurman was largely unknown, until now:
Mystic Soul Project https://www.mysticsoulproject.org/ “Helping cultivate and grow a new generation of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ leaders and teachers of spiritual well-being; building networks and resources for and by people of color.”
Video Documentary: Backs Against the Wall – The Howard Thurman Story (2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVl_irB59lM
Whiteness Rooted in Place: https://www.christiancentury.org/article/interview/whiteness-rooted-place
In an interview with the Christian Century magazine, Yale Divinity School Professor Willie Jennings explores geographic and religious dimensions of race in America.
Restorative Justice/Transformative Justice
https://livingjusticepress.org/ Colorizing Restorative Justice book & videos
Earth Justice and Spirituality
Coming Down to Earth:
Sanctuary as Spiritual Companionship in a Time of Hopelessness and Climate Chaos:
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)
Dr. Melanie L. Harris, Keynote SKSM Symposium, 2019:
Ecowomanism: At the Intersection of Courage & Faith Key Note Address
National Religious Partnership on the Environment
Order of the Sacred Earth
Trauma and Spirituality
Addiction, Trauma and Spirituality by Gabor Maté, MD
Childhood Trauma Is Associated with the Spirituality of Non-Religious Respondents
HIstorical Trauma & Healing in Native American Communities: Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart
Trauma awareness and Spiritual Bypass, Dr. Gabor Mate
My Grandmother’s Hands – Resmaa Menakem