News

Ivy Child International Board Co-Chair Lisa Wong Discussing The Corrosive Health Effects of Anti-Asian Violence

“It’s deeply disturbing. We tend to be more invisible, more marginalized in [race] conversations. … There’s so much we don’t know about the lived experiences of Asian-Americans and the factors that predict health and well-being for this group.”

– Doris Chang, Psychologist

Here is Lisa Wong in conversation with Angus Chen from WBUR talking about her experience:

Read our Founder & CEO’s Stop Asian Hate response here.

In our efforts towards building a voice and multi-racial solidarity, we share the following:

You can read and listen to the interview from WBUR here.

Ivy ChildIvy Child International Board Co-Chair Lisa Wong Discussing The Corrosive Health Effects of Anti-Asian Violence
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Help India Breathe

 

Our Beloved Community,

I am heartbroken over the global trauma and tragedies impacting communities of culture in our nation and across the globe, most recently impacting my home country of India. 

Our families, team and loved ones have all been impacted by the high surge and circumstances of India’s second COVID 19 wave.  My dear mother, my Amma, after my father’s passing has been stuck in isolation there over the last 18 months while we work to safely bring her back to us. 

My parents taught me the transformative power of meditation and mindfulness practice and the responsibility we share in leaving the world a better place than how we found it. This is a deep seeded cultural commitment, grounded in thousands of years of traditions, spiritual and religious beliefs.

The life giving source of our Breath is sacred and a human right.  Yet, we have heard the cry and plea of, “I can’t breathe,” by our communities.

We now have a nation, seeking permission to breathe. With India’s growing movement of #LetUsBreathe.

 

Breath is the foundation of human existence;  breathe is life giving. It is what we struggle for at the moment of birth and enjoy till we draw or last breathe. Yet our breath is being stolen from us due to systems of oppression that perpetuate barriers to access, equity and inclusion. The gasping nation belies the honor of all beings and denies the dignity the people of India deserve. 

The reality is that distancing is a privilege that many, especially in India, do not have the privilege of space. Instead, we have the blessing of living among multigenerational family members close to neighbors and friends. The reality is that many do not have the luxury of hand washing when there is no  consistent access to running water.. The fact is that India’s population of over 1 billion people do not have access to the much needed hygiene kits and masks to combat this pandemic and keep families, elders, loved ones, and community members safe. 

Together, we must do everything we can to take action to alleviate suffering and help. 

The reality is if we cannot help India manage and overcome COVID-19, we as a global community will not overcome COVID-19. 

We must combine #mindfulness with #mindfulaction.  Contemplation must be combined with constructive action, so here’s what you can do NOW: 

We at Ivy Child understand that these are incredibly challenging and stressful times. 

Tragically, we can expect the number of infections to rise—possibly along with our concern about what the future holds, and the stress related to uncertainty, anticipation, and fear is traumatic and can cause an adverse impact on our health. 

While the world is uniting in efforts to battle the problem we’re facing, we feel it is crucial to find ways to serve our community in the best possible manner through mindfulness practice. How individuals respond to an outbreak  depends on many external factors but maintaining our wellbeing through practicing mindfulness is a powerful and universal coping tool for all. We encourage you to use and share some of the resources we have made available online for free.  

In honoring and prioritizing the health and well‐being of our community, we at Ivy Child have shifted all of our programs and activities to virtual platforms. For our partners and affiliates that serve as emergency sites, with limited access, we are working to find solutions together as this situation evolves. We recognize our program sites serve as safe havens to our community and may access food, love, healthcare and enriching learning opportunities. We are working hard with our partners to collaborate to best meet the needs of our community honoring the state and federal guidelines. If you’d like to join forces with us to help our community during the COVID-19 crisis, please donate now to our Emergency Fund today. 

 

YOUR support through a one-time or sustainable recurring donation will help make it happen. Within the next 3-6 months Ivy Child commits to the following, with the resources we have on hand in the short term. 

  1. Execute $100,000 to teachers and youth ambassadors in Ivy Child International’s network and mobilize them to share practice, prevention management and wellness strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19 in India (‪July 1)
  2. Distribute the 10000 masks and hygiene kits to our healthcare partners and families (July 1‬)
  3. Provide 1000, $50 micro recovery grants to vulnerable families (‪June 1)

We invite YOU to be a part of our long-term strategy:

  1. Work with our global network of teachers and partners to develop wellbeing toolkits and digital learning tools to build a culturally and linguistically responsive digital library of resources.
  2. Provide $1 million in direct funds, training and development resources to our community.

 

 

Ivy Child International has always worked to find ways to benefit the community through enhancing our wellbeing through mindfulness. We want you to know that we are here and will continue to support you through these trying times.  Ivy Child devotes all of its efforts to building equity for all and honoring the inherent dignity of all people. We must rise up and take a stand to hold systems that perpetuate barriers and structural oppression accountable. Please feel free to connect with us as a partner and support us in this journey. 

We at Ivy Child stand in our truth reinforcing and leaning into our lineage, heritage and faith traditions at this moment, where COVID 19 has taken the breath away of an entire nation.  

As an Indian woman leader, my commitment is personal. We stand in solidarity with our community and ask our community partners to do the same.

Abundant thanks for your unwavering support to our organization. Please be assured that despite these very challenging times, our mission, core values, and vision for global wellbeing will stay the same, and we will never give up on our fundamental belief in the power of peace. We look forward to working with you now and in the future to build a healthier world. 

May we all be safe and well as we take action encouraging our loved ones to do the same, as an act of generosity and compassion towards all. 

Abundant thanks.

Warmly,

Rose and the Ivy Child Family

 

Ivy ChildHelp India Breathe
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World Health Day

Happy World Health Day! We join our friends at the World Health Organization (WHO) and worldwide celebrating global health awareness day. This year as a global community we focus on building a fairer, healthier world for all. Enhancing our wellbeing is anchored in the art of balancing our mental, emotional and physical health. Through COVID-19, we collectively must commit and recommit to building a more just, equitable and healthy world for all.

We at Ivy Child devote all of our efforts to building equity for all and honoring the inherent dignity of all people. We believe mindfulness and wellbeing is a human right. Building a peaceful and healthy world begins at home, with each of us and recognizing the responsibility we each carry in making our world a healthier place than how we found it.

 

Ivy ChildWorld Health Day
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COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Recipient Spotlight

In response to the onset of COVID-19, Ivy Child International served as a strategic partner for The Yoga Alliance Foundation Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with the Yoga Alliance Foundation, an effort designed to provide swift financial support to yoga professionals worldwide experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Today, we’re truly honored to share a few stories from over 430+ fund recipients hailing from 31 countries as they describe how the pandemic has affected their lives and how sharing yoga is an essential service to communities during this challenging time. We are inspired by the courage, will, grace and commitment of teachers from across the globe.

Video: Yoga Alliance Foundation

Ivy ChildCOVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Recipient Spotlight
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Stop Asian Hate Response

 

Our Beloved Community, 

The tragic events impacting Asians across the country and most recently in Atlanta compels us to urge our community to act now to take a stand against these horrific hate crimes. We ask for collaboration and care in addressing racism, violent acts, and inequities our communities face which are persistent realities. The increase in these Asian hate crimes have been catastrophic. In solidarity, the violence, bullying, and all forms of hatred must cease.

Ensuring safety and security for all is consistent with our values. Ivy Child devotes all of its efforts to building equity for all and honoring the inherent dignity of all people. We must rise up and take a stand to hold systems that perpetuate racism and structural oppression accountable. 

As an Asian woman leader, my commitment is personal. We stand in solidarity with our Asian Community and ask our community partners to do the same.

Rose Felix Cratsley, Founder & CEO, Ivy Child International

 

In our efforts towards building a voice and multi-racial solidarity, we share the following:

 

Ivy ChildStop Asian Hate Response
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Thank You PEN America

Ivy Child International is honored and excited to partner with PEN America and offer mindfulness and compassion sessions to all staff.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. They champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Their mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Founded in 1922, PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers worldwide that make up the PEN International network. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our Membership—a nationwide community of more than 7,500 novelists, journalists, nonfiction writers, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals, as well as devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.

 

Ivy ChildThank You PEN America
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Thank You Institute for Nonprofit Practice!

Abundant thanks to our friends at Institute for Nonprofit Practice!
We are honored and humbled to kick off the year together with our mindfulness and wellbeing session for MA & NY nonprofit leaders.

The Institute for Nonprofit Practice was founded in Boston in 2007 by Barry Dym, Ph.D. During his career as a nonprofit founder, consultant, and coach, he observed and sought to address several critical issues threatening the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector:

  • Under-investment in leadership development

  • A succession crisis triggered by the retirement of the baby boomers

  • The need for more diverse leadership that reflects communities served


Ivy ChildThank You Institute for Nonprofit Practice!
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Together through COVID

While the world is uniting in efforts to battle an array of challenges, we feel it is crucial to find ways to serve our community in the best possible manner through mindfulness in action. How individuals respond to an outbreak can depend on many factors but protecting those most vulnerable, bridging and providing immediate relief and recovery support is essential to our collective wellbeing.

As the spring of 2020 rolled in, the realization that the world was going to be in the grip of an unprecedented global crisis was quickly becoming the truth in all our minds. A spate of fresh cases of a new disease on the other side of the globe had snowballed into a global pandemic.

Now, more than ever, our community needed the practice of mindfulness to battle the anxiety and psychological strain of this new reality. To ensure that we continued to bring the mindfulness to our community, we moved all our programs and activities to virtual platforms. We made our resources available online for free for our community to use and share.

But we wished to do more; we wanted to try and provide tangible support to members of our community.

In May, Ivy Child set up an Emergency Relief Fund and with the help of fundraising efforts and generous donations to create a corpus for immediate financial support for our community. Over the last few months, we have achieved the following goals:

  • Executed $75,000 to teachers and youth ambassadors in Ivy Child International’s network and mobilize them to share practice, prevention management and wellness strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19 
  • Distribute 10000 masks and hygiene kits for free to our healthcare partners and families
  • Provide 250, $50 micro recovery grants to vulnerable families.

Furthermore, Ivy Child harnessed its community network and operational capacity to serve as the partner and administrator of The Yoga Alliance Foundation Emergency Relief Fund alongside the Yoga Alliance Foundation. The fund aimed at providing financial support to those within the community who were experiencing extreme economic hardship due to COVID-19.

  • The fund disbursed a minimum of $150 to a maximum of $1500 to yoga teachers whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19 globally.
  • The fund received applications from over 30 different countries and over 45 diverse cultures.
  • 85% of the applicants self identified as female.
  • Over 85% of applicants had lost 56% to 100% of their income due to the COVID-19.
  • 93% of applicants had a household income lower than $70,000 per year.

Stories of Resilience

In the course of Ivy Child and Yoga Alliance Foundation’s outreach during this period, we have constantly come across stories that give us an insight into the human condition at the moment; glimpses of unwavering strength, or of hope and positivity at the darkest but always stories of mindfulness and meditation helping them find their bearings in the negativity. Here are some excerpts from such stories.

  • So many things have been uncertain for me, but the virtual (yoga) studio gives me something to look forward to. It has brought so much comfort. Something as simple as yoga, from someone that felt so far away is now accessible to me in the privacy of my own home. This helps me hang on to hope. My fathers recovery seems so far away, but I know I have felt this way about other things that have somehow worked out.

    Mayra
  • In the face of COVID-19, we are challenged with self-isolation, financial and employment uncertainties and disruptions in our day to day lives. Both my parents are immigrants, seniors and have especially been experiencing stress that is debilitating and more seriously, dangerous for their health and well-being. Yoga is the practice of freedom. It is my practice that keeps me grounded and connected to the supreme reality, one which we are all living within. Knowing this, I have been able to connect with individuals across the world as we are collectively not only experiencing this, but also collectively healing together. Life is happening right this instant. Despite the situation and pandemic, we are all experiencing this together collectively.

    Amandeep
  • I continue to teach two weekly yoga classes online on a volunteer basis at no cost. Though this circumstance is not ideal, I am grateful to have this outlet to teach so that I can still connect with others and to not allow my teaching skills to get rusty. Deepening my practice with consistency and openness for knowledge and new experiences has helped me feel grounded and my heart at ease during these uncertain times.  

    Aileen
  • La practica del día me permite abrirme y recordar la paz que habita dentro mi, que soy mas que cuerpo, que hay mas que esta situación, que en calma y paz puedo librar si me lo permite, sonriendole a mi hijo y jugando con el, haciendo un tiempo productivo en casa, olvidando que es un encierro forzado, recordandome que es una oportunidad para limpiar y sanar mi mente, porque se presentan las sombras entre la incertidumbre y la practica me permite identificarlas, perdonar, sanarlas y desarrollarme, avanzar. No digo que es fácil, pero el yoga me permite recordarlo y facilita el proceso.

    Nuria
  • This is not the first time that the practice has helped me through a major life challenge. Eight years ago, I began my journey with fibromyalgia, and last year, I parted from my marriage of 21 years. When the COVID-19 crisis came our way, I was prepared to use my learned skills to ride yet another wave. Viewing the world’s situation, and then my own, through the lens of an observer empowered me with the compassion and ability necessary to give myself permission to feel, then heal.

    Terilouise
  • I had to live at my sisters for 3 months and my dad got sick and I had to take over the business. My brain went from working 1000% to 10% in a week. Taking it slowly. I learned that yoga helped me save my life during this time.

    Monica
Ivy Child TeamTogether through COVID
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Happy Juneteenth!

 

Happy #Juneteenth! Today commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news to slaves that the Civil War had ended two years earlier, and they were free. It’s the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America.

However we know slavery has not ended it has only evolved. Activism is an act of love towards the freedom and liberation of our shared humanity. We stand together at this critical time with everyone around the world to combat racism and oppression.
Stand with us and take action today!

Here are some organizations that are on the frontlines right now. :
https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/
https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/
https://www.just-georgia.org/

26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets :
https://issuu.com/nlc.sf.2014/docs/beyondthestreets_fina

Ivy ChildHappy Juneteenth!
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