The role of the Program Committee is to cultivate programming, classes, series, daylongs, and other curricula to realize EBMC’s mission and promote safety and inclusion to create the refuge of the Buddha Dharma Sangha. The Programming Committee works with the greater center’s Sangha, composed of the Teacher Sangha, many Practice Groups, Deep Refuge Groups, and Leadership Sangha (Board). We strive for engagement with the Dharma through a social justice lens that not only guides but holds refuge in Sangha.
Program Committee Guidelines
Allison has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2003. A graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training Practicum at El Camino Hospital, she also trained at the Sati Chaplaincy Training Program, and is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock. Allison has taught in a variety of academic, clinical, and community settings, and volunteers at a local hospital as an interfaith chaplain. Part of the Every Body Every Mind teaching team since 2016, and the Program Committee since 2017, she is passionate about social justice, and making dharma communities accessible for everyone.
Amana began her journey of dharma practice and study as a result of the early People of Color Retreats offered at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is currently a participant in the fifth iteration of the Community Dharma Leaders Training at Spirit Rock, and is a graduate of “Commit To Dharma”, a one-year course offered through EBMC. Amana teaches contemplative yoga practices and provides mentorship to Theravada practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of the dharma and find continuity of practice within daily life. She creates visual art that poses personal and spiritual inquiries into the heart.
Candi Martinez Carthen
Candi is a native Californian with over twenty years of experience in professional Event Production, Artistic Curation and Publicity. Her passion is curating events that serve as platforms to celebrate cultural heritage, promote social justice and foster community. In 2012, she was introduced to East Bay Meditation Center's POC sitting group and decided to become part of EBMC's beloved sangha. Her hobbies include volunteering, surfing, yoga and cooking.
Born and raised in the Yay Area (Karkin, Bay Miwok, and Chochenyo territories), Jessy Zapanta is a community builder, cultural worker, and healing justice facilitator experienced in various forms of movement, trauma-informed counseling modalities, and bodywork. Jessy originally came to EBMC through the POC Sangha, is a co-founder of Dharma in Motion, and has taken on roles as part of the Family Sangha teaching team and EBMC Program Committee. Jessy has led or co-taught daylong workshops centering the experiences of queer, trans, gender-diverse, disabled, and neurodivergent practitioners. As a queer/pan nonbinary mixed POC with invisible illnesses and disabilities, Jessy is passionate about accessibility and facilitates a circle-based form of radically-inclusive movement meditation called Kapwa Flow which holds space for the collective needs of participants and draws from the Pilipinx concept of interconnectedness. A strong advocate for youth empowerment for more than a decade, Jessy’s path includes reclaiming diverse ancestral teachings, trusting intuition, and building intersectional, intergenerational communities of care.
René Rivera is a leader and bridge-builder, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René has been a student of the Dharma since 2004 and has been a part of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) Alphabet Sangha since 2008. He has participated in the Commit to Dharma and Practice in Action programs at EBMC and the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. He currently serves on the EBMC Program Committee and Midday Sangha coordinating committee.
Sierra Pickett has a passion for accessible Sangha building. At the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) — a gift economy based, social-justice Buddhist center that Jack Kornfield has called “the most diverse Sangha on the planet” — she has been serving as a long-time Coordinating Committee member of the People Of Color Sangha, a weekly sitting group offering safe(r) space for POC practitioners, and currently sits on the Programming Committee for EBMC at large. An addition to Buddhist Peace Fellowship's board of directors, Sierra is a web weaver who sees networking as an intentional act of love connecting us together in reciprocal support and interdependence. Volunteering with East Point Peace Academy for 3+ years, she values Kingian Nonviolence as a true avenue in transformation and is honored to have witnessed and experienced it first hand. An American Sign Language interpreter, Sierra loves expanding linguistic and cultural accessibility within a social justice framework. Easily spotted in bright colors, she will greet you with an infectious smile.