June 21, 2022
Dear Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Communities,
Happy Summer Solstice to all! We are pleased to provide this update on the Compassionate Reconciliation Project (CRP), having last posted in April 2022. Please note, with occasional exceptions these communications will now be shared monthly.
In our last update, we shared an announcement by the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation, regarding the Independent Healing and Reparations Program. Further details about the Program have recently been released, including the program structure, eligibility, and registration process. These details can be viewed here on the Ethics and Professional Standards (EPS) website, with an FAQ document to accompany it here.
We believe that the launch of this reparations program represents a significant moment in the Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma communities. During our accompaniment of this community through the Compassionate Reconciliation Project, we have heard the profound need, expressed by numerous people who have experienced harm, to see tangible action taken toward acknowledgment, validation and repair. Many have also stated that they value a dignified and non-adversarial means of achieving their justice needs. We therefore expect that the Independent Healing and Reparations Program will be an important option to explore for many current and former community members.
The launch of IHRP is the culmination of significant collaboration, consideration and consultation, which included the input of the Just Outcomes team and several others. The design of the program strives to enact KY/SD community values along with the experiences of other communities undergoing similar pain and growth. Still, reparations programs such as this are relatively rare in a global society which often chooses adversarial justice. Any program of this nature may feel challenging at times, and we believe these processes can yield continued learning on the part of organizations. Walking this path takes courage on the part of all involved.
The Compassionate Reconciliation Project is built on the principles of restorative justice. A central priority of restorative justice is seeking to meet the needs of those who have experienced harm. Reparations programs like the IHRP can be a vital element of restorative justice by addressing needs such as:
- Acknowledgement Through Action: For many people who have been harmed, words of acknowledgement – however well-chosen they may be – are often not enough. They want to see meaningful demonstrations of sincerity. The Program can offer this gesture for those who need it.
- Opportunities to Share the Experience and Impact: Many people who have undergone harmful experiences have the need to share those experiences, in their own voice, and to be heard with genuine compassion. The Program is designed in such a way that this opportunity is available as requested.
- Options for Support: Those experiencing harm are often eager for fulsome information about their options, and also for robust, trauma-informed support to walk through those options. The Program is designed to provide this support through the role of a “Claimant Support Facilitator” (see FAQ, question #5).
- Opportunities for Relational Repair: Maintaining or repairing community relationships is not desirable for all those who experience harm. However, some have a need to pursue healing and justice through an avenue that still leaves open the door for new forms of relationship with those who caused or contributed to the harm they experienced, and/or within the wider community. Non-adversarial processes like reparations can lay the foundation for further healing-oriented dialogue in community, where appropriate and voluntary on the part of all involved.
The launch of the IHRP is an important step in the path of Compassionate Reconciliation, with much more to do and yet to come. We look forward to providing further updates on this Program and other aspects of the CRP as they become available.
Yours in kindness, compassion, and gratitude,
The Just Outcomes Team: Catherine Bargen, Matthew Hartman and Aaron Lyons
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