We’ve struggled to put into words what has transpired over the last 6 months, which have been some of the most challenging, confusing, and upsetting stretches in our lives.
Seemingly overnight, the world swept into lockdown, causing economic, physical, and mental anguish to all with after-effects we are only now starting to understand. As parts of the country seemed to turn a corner with decreasing case numbers, the nation was then faced with its most enduring and heartbreaking flaw - systemic racism and mistreatment of minorities, specifically Black Americans. The recorded murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the shooting of Breonna Taylor, and the countless stories shared, left many Americans aghast. Like so many, we are deeply disturbed, saddened, and confused by the killings of George, Ahmaud, and Breonna, and our emotions unraveled deeper in the following week's events.
The Kula IAB and Kula for Karma wholeheartedly stand with and support the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of us will never experience the stress and anxiety that Black Americans feel each day. But we can vocalize and recognize how wrong, unjust, and truly un-American it is.
Where do we start?
To our readers advocating, protesting, and educating themselves on these issues, we are proud to see our Kula family fighting for positive social change and living our truth.
To the countless individuals who serve our community with integrity and respect: we appreciate your service and graciously applaud all that you do.
Most importantly, to our donors of color who have stood by us over the years as we brought Kula to the country, it is our turn to stand by you. We hear you we recognize you, and we are actively working to join the fight.
For our community feeling overwhelmed at what is going on and looking for a way to take action, we offer the below.
1. Look, Listen, and Learn. You cannot miss racial disparities in our society. Look around your broader communities, listen to your friends and colleagues, and learn from publications, history books, novels, or any preferred medium. It is a privilege to learn about racism instead of experience it.
2. Small Victories Matter. Racial inequality, a global pandemic, and societal upheaval are insurmountable challenges on the surface. When you feel overwhelmed, frame your thinking like your practice on the mat. Small victories in each practice - tweaks, incremental gains, day by day improvement - truly make a difference. The most important part of all is that you try to better yourself, and therefore, your community. If you are able, donate to a preferred cause. If you cannot, find worthy petitions to sign. And so on.
3. Take Care of Yourself. When disruptions strike our lives, the first sacrifice is often our own wellness and routines. Please continue your practice, whatever it may be, and do not neglect your personal wellbeing.
Where Does Kula Go From Here?
Thanks to recent generous donations from our supporters, we will be able to provide our services at no cost for the next year to our Black communities emotionally devastated by the last month, and physically devastated from COVID-19.
Sticking to our core mission, we will help grassroots organizations, schools, healthcare facilities, and other groups who are striving to better themselves and ignite positive change. This is a united, all-in fight that every citizen must march toward if we are to heal.
We hope this message finds all of you safe, healthy, and well and we look forward to our next year working with you each and every day.
Kula Innovative Advisory Board