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“Broken Silences: Grassroots Efforts in Response to Sexual Abuse in American Buddhist Communities” w/ Ann Gleig & Amy Langenberg
October 4 : 5:30 pm - 7:30 pmFree
Mon, Oct 4 l 5:30 p.m. l Sainer Auditorium (5313 Bay Shore Rd)
Livestream Option Available Here
Since the 1980s, American Buddhist communities have been the site of recurring sexual misconduct and abuse allegations. In the main, efforts to bring about justice have been hampered by denial and deflection from teachers, community leaders, and board members. In the absence of community accountability and a centralizing American Buddhist authority, efforts to respond to sexual abuse have fallen largely to individual or collective grassroot efforts. In this presentation, we consider grassroots efforts to respond to sexual abuse in American Buddhism. These efforts include submitting to outside investigations and trainings, community reform through revised grievance procedures and ethics statements, survivor advocacy through in person and online networks, and legal interventions. We also consider the ways such efforts are put into dialogue with Buddhist doctrine and ethical practice and what they suggest about new forms of Buddhist leadership, institutional authority, and community life after the silence about abuse is broken. We consider such efforts from a survivor-centered perspective and reflect on what they suggest about new forms of Buddhist leadership, institutional authority, and community life after the silence about abuse is broken.