Today, in a spirit of humility, we at Kirkridge mark Juneteenth, a national holiday celebrating the end of an institution that should never have existed and that ended, for far too many, long after the Emancipation Proclamation. There are those who say it never ended. We have far to go until we see racial justice in this country.
And here at Kirkridge, there are seats that have been empty for too long. While this place has always welcomed everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, there have been barriers for African-descended people—barriers of economics, time, culture, and relationship or lack thereof. And when there are no or few Black people present in any space, we are all impoverished.
We are taking steps to dramatically shift this injustice. This fall, we are offering several retreats with a significant number of spaces reserved for BIPOC participants. We are also building up a special “Equity Fund” that will be used to provide scholarships explicitly for BIPOC participants. If you’d like to contribute to this fund, you can donate here (https://kirkridge.org/give/) and put “Equity Fund” in the “gift message” field. This fund will also allow us to host BIPOC-only and Black-only healing spaces and residencies as well as contribute to other racial justice initiatives incubating on the mountain.
More steps are on the way. Through our participation in the Racial Healing Initiative of the Retreat Center Collaboration, we are hosting listening circles this summer and a dedicated retreat in the fall to develop new strategies for ensuring that everyone has access to rest, retreat, and sanctuary.
As Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry is always emphasizing, rest is a justice issue. Please help us address it in this place by giving generously to our Equity Fund. (Don’t forget to specify “Equity Fund” in the Gift Message field. Thank you!)