The Buddhists for Black Lives Matter silent march from Little Tokyo to City Hall on June 13 was organized by Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean Buddhist monastics associated with the University of the West, a Buddhist seminary in Rosemead.

Rev. Duncan Ryuken Williams (author of “American Sutra”), Rev. Shumyo Kojima (Zenshuji), and Rev. Egyoku Nakao (Zen Center of Los Angeles) were among those from Japanese Buddhist lineages that joined what was dubbed the “Great Awakening Walk” down First Street to Grand Park, where a Buddhist ceremony was held to honor Black lives that had been painfully cut short through the racialized violence of police and vigilantes.

“As Buddhists, we know that suffering is interlinked between many racial and religious communities,” said Rev. Williams. “We also know that liberation is also interlinked. Protests for racial justice can and must take many forms to reflect the multiplicity of who we are as Americans.

“For Buddhists who participated in the ‘Great Awakening Walk,’ the profound and noble silence that respectfully honored the Black lives that have been lost was our declaration that our destinies are interlinked and that we walk to liberation together.”

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