Every once in a while someone asks me a question that makes me stop and think. The question asked of me was whether or not Inspiritual is a social justice organization. I have always said that Inspiritual is a space for spiritual evolution and transformation, but I had never thought about whether we are a social justice organization. So this question has had me in a state of reflection all week. Rather than share my response with the person who asked it, I thought I would make that the focus of my blog for this week.
As I thought about this question, I had to begin by defining what social justice meant to me and to Inspiritual. I see it as functioning in a way that is about promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity. It is about recognizing that we all share a common humanity and that we all have the right to equitable treatment. It means that the way we operate means we do not discriminate against people based on any characteristic. So when I think about it that way then yes, we are a social justice organization. For the last five years, we have opened our hearts and our doors to all those who have come seeking to grow and evolve spiritually. That has meant, for us, that all who come seeking healing are welcome, regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. We have made the conscious decision to invest our energy into raising the Gross National Happiness in the world and not be concerned about making a profit or raising the Gross Domestic Product. We made the decision to ask people to support our work through love offerings of time, energy, and resources.
I am no longer able to easily march on picket lines or challenge injustice in the ways that I used to be able to do. However, we still work to bring about change by working to make visible the way people are wounded by structural violence and working with those who have experienced what Patricia Williams calls “spirit murder” because of their race, class, gender identity, sexuality, ability , age, or any other characteristic.
Spirit murder occurs when we disregard the lives of others whose quality of life is dependent on us. So when we structurally constrain or refuse services to others, when we pass laws or policies that contribute to the harming of others, then we are committing acts of structural violence and murdering of the spirit.
What we attempt to do here is to help people heal spiritually, while doing what we can to bring about systemic change through education, advocacy, and the creation of spaces in which people can empower themselves. Our original intent was not to be a social justice organization, however, if in and through our work we are, then yes we are also a social justice organization. Regardless of how people define us, we will continue to abide by our desire to open our doors to all who come seeking healing, growth, and evolution.