A New Spelling of Our Names:  The Psycho-Spiritual Experiences of African-American Buddhist Lesbians
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Greetings! If you practice Buddhism in the Insight tradition, are a woman of African descent living in the U.S. and consider yourself to be same-gender-loving, you are invited to participate in a research project, "A New Spelling of Our Names."  Pamela Ayo Yetunde, a Community Dharma Leader trained at Spirit Rock, and a Doctor of Theology candidate at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, is the principal researcher for this dissertation project.  

This project is important because African-American Buddhists who are same-gender-loving women, gay, lesbian, etc. tend to be invisible to the outside world, invisibilized in our Buddhist communities, and even remain unknonwn to ourselves; therefore your survey responses are critical to the understanding of Buddhism in the U.S.

The research project will be conducted in three parts.

First, you are invited to complete the Fetzer Institute's Spiritual Experience Index (SEI).  It will take approximately 15 - 30 minutes to mindfully and reflectively complete the questionnaire.  Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There are no foreseeable risks associated with this project. However, if you feel uncomfortable answering any questions, you can skip the question and go to the next question, or withdraw from the survey at any point.  We hope to have at least 30 women respond to the survey.  Please start with the survey now by clicking on the Continue button below.

Second, you are invited to express your interest in participating in the narrative portion of the project.  In this part of the project I will interview about five participants about their experiences in self-preservation and beliefs and practices in non-self.  If you're interested, email Ayo at ayoyetunde@gmail.com.

Third, you are invited to express your interest in being on a validation committee.  I will make my preliminary findings available to all participants interested in the results, but the conclusions will be validated first by African-American Buddhist lesbians/same-gender-loving women in the Insight tradition, whether they participated in the survey or not.  If you're interested, email Ayo at ayoyetunde@gmail.com.

Your responses will be strictly confidential and data from this research will be reported only in the aggregate (no names will be mentioned). Your information will be coded and will remain confidential. If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, you may contact the principal researcher, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Community Dharma Leader and Th.D. Candidate at Columbia Theological Seminary. She can be reached at ayoyetunde@gmail.com or 770-733-5192.  Ayo's dissertation committee chairperson is Dr. Emmanuel Lartey.  Dr. Lartey can be reached at elartey@emory.edu or 404-727-6594.  This survey has been approved by Columbia Theological Seminary's Institutional Review Board (IRB).  

When you accept the terms of this project, you are agreeing to participate in the above named research project and, if interviewed, to have your interview recorded and transcribed.  You are agreeing that you understand that your interview, if you are interviewed, will not result in the disclosure of your identity, but the interview may be quoted in any final reporting of the project in print or online.  By agreeing to be a part of this project, you are stating that you understand that you have the right not to answer any question/that any answer is acceptable; and that you may stop your participation at any time, withdraw any or all of these consents at any time up to the final publication of project results by contacting the project director, Dr. Emmanuel Lartey, in writing at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA  30322 or by calling him at 404-727-6594, or emailing him at elartey@emory.edu.  Questions about the project can be directed to the Columbia Theological Seminary Institutional Review Board at Columbia Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 520, Decatur, GA  30031, 678-390-5266.  Thank you very much for your time and support. Please start with the survey now by accepting the terms of this project, then click on the Continue button below.