January’s Social Justice Plate Collection to Yoga Behind Bars

Logo: Yoga behind bars - 10 years of transformation

Sunday, January 10

This Sunday we will share our 2nd Sunday offering plate with Yoga Behind Bars (YBB), a Seattle-based organization that works with Washington State corrections to create opportunities within the prison system for yoga and meditation classes for people who are incarcerated, as well as prison staff. YBB envisions a world where all communities are healthy and thriving, where all people feel safe, connected, and valued. YBB understands trauma as a root cause of incarceration and is committed to ending the cycle of trauma-stress-prison. They center the leadership of people of color and people who have been or are incarcerated, and were the first in the country to offer yoga teacher training to men and women behind bars. They are part of a movement that is reimagining the criminal justice system, advocating for restorative justice solutions, holistic re-entry services, and the removal of barriers that prevent formerly incarcerated people from rebuilding their lives upon release.

UUC’s Racial Justice Team proposed YBB as a plate recipient, envisioning that UUC be part of a movement for restorative justice. Our UU values call us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in our relationships with one another; active interconnectedness, grounded and in the right of all people to participate in decisions that affect their own lives; and acceptance and encouragement of each other’s spiritual growth. The Racial Justice Team sees the need to massively alter a racist, dehumanizing criminal legal system at the institutional level, while simultaneously supporting individuals caught up in that system to recover their own sense of self-worth and possibility. Yoga Behind Bars does both.