We hope this finds each of you in good health as we begin the new year.
Hopefully you have received our previous communication in mid-November, introducing our role in the Compassionate Reconciliation process that your community is embarking upon (if you did not, you can view the letter here). Our work has continued to progress over the past number of weeks since then, and we are happy to provide you with this update on what has been happening and where we are headed next.
At this early stage of our work, we have been focusing on the following areas:
- Compassionate Reconciliation Commission: We are working with the Interim Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (ICRC) to establish a representative and diverse Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC) to address the harms and divisions surfacing within the community. This will be explained in more detail here in this update (below).
- Engagement: We have conducted close to 40 individual interviews and have connected with international groups affiliated with 3HO, KRI, and 3HO Europe, with more to come. As you may also recall from our November correspondence, we distributed a survey which was circulated throughout the community. If you would still like a chance to respond, the link is active and will close on January 31. Thank you to the nearly 400 people who have responded so far!
- Research: We have been reviewing important documents that provide context to your community and this important moment in your journey together.
- Intervention Planning: We are beginning the process to identify and plan for compassionate reconciliation and restorative justice processes to assist with specific aspects of the crisis occurring in the community.
- Compassionate Reconciliation Website – We are creating a Compassionate Reconciliation Website. The website will have all the updates, initiatives and information about the CRC’s process and activities. We anticipate the website becoming active in early February.
We have very much valued getting to know your community over these past number of weeks.
The Compassionate Reconciliation Commission
As mentioned above, one of our main tasks has been to assist in the development of a sustained and diverse Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC). This commission will serve to lead the Compassionate Reconciliation Project (CRP). We have worked closely with the ICRC over the last many weeks to help understand the broader composition of the community and its interest groups, and to build a structure for the CRC which can give voice to all aspects of the community. Through this process, we have proposed to create a structure consisting of series of Advisory Teams working alongside the core CRC, as follows:
- Advisory Teams: The Advisory Teams will consist of stakeholder groups representing a wide cross-section of interests in your community. These diverse groups will give feedback to, and receive updates from the core CRC. Each Advisory Team will select one or two representatives to be part of the core CRC.
- CRC: The Core CRC will be designing and coordinating strategies and directions to advance the goals of the Compassionate Reconciliation Project during the current moment and beyond.
- Affinity Groups: The success of the CRC will require the involvement of community members with diverse lived experiences, ages, racial identities, sexual and gender identities, and geographical locations. Affinity groups are spaces where people who share a common identity can provide support to one another as they undertake a process with others. Based on the needs expressed within our engagement so far, a specific Affinity Group will be made available to Advisory Team members who identify as Black, Indigenous, or persons of color. Other Affinity groups can be made available as requested.
Just Outcomes will be providing a thorough orientation to all the Advisory Teams and CRC members, to ensure all involved are equipped with skills, knowledge and understanding to have meaningful and productive dialogue about the work ahead. The immediate focus of the CRC will be:
- addressing the needs for healing and recovery of reporters of sexual harm related to Yogi Bhajan,
- addressing the needs for healing and recovery among members of the Next Gen who reported experiencing harm while attending community-run boarding school programs and while growing up in the community; and,
- attending to the divisions that have arisen in the community in the aftermath of reports of harm.
Once the CRC is established in March or April, we will be working closely with the Commission to identify key needs in the community, and help design compassionate reconciliation and restorative justice processes and interventions as required. Guided within a principled approach, these processes will be creative and flexible in their approach to addressing harm and working toward healing.
We appreciate your patience and commitment as we endeavour to keep you as up-to-date as possible on this ever-evolving collaborative work.
Catherine Bargen, Aaron Lyons, and Matthew Hartman
Co-Founders and Principals, Just Outcomes