March 31 – April 13, 2021 Project Update

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
-Margaret J. Wheatley

April 16, 2021

Dear Community,

We are happy to provide this biweekly update on our work with the 3HO, Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities. For background about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project, please feel free to visit the project website here. This week’s update will focus on the role of the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission that is currently in formation. Thank you for your time and interest in reading this update.

What is the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission?

Some of the opportunities of a collective, transformative process like the Compassionate Reconciliation Project include:[1]

  • To amplify the voice of affected parties by providing space for truth-telling and story-telling to go forward and to process past / present harms.
  • To design processes of sustained dialogue to increase collective empathy and understanding.
  • To create problem-solving platforms for the community to make critical decisions about how to respond and resolve current organizational and programmatic issues, policies and procedures that have arisen from past harms.
  • To offer restorative justice processes to affected parties in the community who have experienced interpersonal harms.
  • To ensure that any direct survivors of past harms are feeling safe, receiving support and are able to voluntarily participate in the above processes without fear or intimidation.

The Compassionate Reconciliation Project that is currently underway within the 3HO, Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities considers how to achieve these types of goals. The Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC) is the vehicle by which these goals will be discussed, nuanced, altered and brought into action, with Just Outcomes’ support.

​The idea of the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission (CRC) is a new idea for many people.  However, the concept of a diverse and representative group engaging in a process of collective collaborative leadership and change is not a novel concept.  The concept of the CRC aligns well with worldwide approaches to restorative, transformative, and transitional justice and collective change.
A few examples of similar principled approaches include:

The approach is also informed by emergent intersectional thinking to address community-based harms such as described in “We Will Not Cancel Us” (adrienne maree brown). 

We are very excited to continue the journey with your community in this pioneering societal work towards addressing harm and conflict in a transformative way. During this painfully challenging time, there is also a profound opportunity.

[1] Gratitude to Just Outcomes’ team member Dr. Carl Stauffer for this articulation

​CRC Advisory Teams

You may have seen in our past correspondence (for example, our January 14th letter) that “Advisory Teams” will serve as advisors to the CRC and liaisons both to broader communities and constituencies.

Here is a list of the Advisory Teams that will create and inform the CRC. 

  • Second Generation members concerned with the harms experienced in schools and youth programs
  • Representatives of current youth-based programming/education
  • Reporters of sexual harm in relation to Yogi Bhajan/SSS
  • Community members who have expressed concerns about the actions of organizational leadership in response to the allegations of harm
  • SSSC Operations
  • Dharmic leadership and representatives
  • Yogic leadership and representatives
  • Informal community leadership
  • Business Representatives
  • Historic Community Members
  • Third Generation members

Each group will have approximately 3-15 members, and will appoint 1-2 members to the core CRC. Overall, the core CRC will then be about 11-16 people and we expect 90 or so people to be involved throughout all of the Advisory Teams to start.  This list represents the groups that will first launch the CRC, but the structure of the CRC can adapt, grow and change over time, according to identified community needs.

Stay Connected

Sign up here to receive regular updates from Just Outcomes about the Compassionate Reconciliation Project. By signing up you will receive updates about Compassionate Reconciliation only.

We look forward to providing you with further updates on the progress of this work during our next update, on 4/30/21. In the meantime, please feel free to offer your thoughts and perspectives here. We will read everything received here, and due to our limited capacity we may not be able to respond to everything we receive. However, all comments will be given to the Compassionate Reconciliation Commission once it is established.

Yours in kindness, compassion and gratitude,
Catherine Bargen, Matthew Hartman, Cara Walsh, Aaron Lyons, and our extended team
Just Outcomes