I was sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Marlene Jones, a mighty and important presence in terms of thinking about power, privilege and difference in American sanghas. Hers is a tremendous loss for all Buddhist Americans.
A bio for her at the website of the San Francisco Zen Center reads:
Dr. Marlene Jones holds appointments in the Social and Cultural Studies Program in Humanities Department at Dominican University. She is a social and community activist with a doctorate in International Multicultural Education. Dr. Jones was introduced to meditation in 1970. Her pioneer cultural inclusion work dates to 1991 when she started People of Color Retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Dr. Jones has also served on Spirit Rock Board of Directors and is Co-Founder of the Spirit Rock Diversity Council where she served as its Chair.
For more, please see Larry Yang’s post about her at Turning Wheel Media (thanks to Arun at Angry Asian Buddhist for pointing that one out) and the write-up at Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Online (for whom I also blog).