Thanks to all who filled out our first annual demographic survey. These annual surveys are intended to help MZMC understand the needs of our community. In particular they will show how our community is changing over the years. Understanding folks who participate at MZMC is part of the ongoing work to honor MZMC’s equity statement: “Minnesota Zen Meditation Center welcomes every person who seeks to do Zen practice: ethical living and meditation. We work to remove barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, class, sexual orientation, age, and ability. We thrive by celebrating what we share and our differences.”
Here are some results of the survey we’d like to share with you. The survey was available in paper form on the porch for both members and nonmembers and sent online to our members. It is important to note that these results are not the whole picture of MZMC’s demographics; they give us a snapshot of the folks who chose to fill out the survey during a one month period, but not a comprehensive picture of folks who attend MZMC.
Many of the questions had space for people to fill in personal answers. The personal answers often highlighted a more diverse group of folks than the percentages we are sharing with you show. However, we are not sharing individualized answers in order to maintain anonymity. This survey shows that our respondents were quite diverse in some regards: religiously, in terms of gender, sexual orientation, and across age groups above 35. Relative to the Twin Cities general population, women, people with disabilities, people with children at home, folks under thirty five, people of color, people below Twin Cities median income, and people who do not have a college education were underrepresented. We want to make clear that if you are from one or some of these groups that are underrepresented, MZMC is engaged in and committed to ongoing work to make MZMC a welcoming place for folks like you. Learning from all your input can help us in our work to make MZMC supportive and welcoming to everyone.
If you’d like to get together with folks to talk about the survey results, we will have a council process meeting on Monday, May 15 from 7:10-8:30pm to make space to speak and listen.