Pilgrim’s Landing, Inc. recently announced the nonprofit organization has changed its name to the Center for the Spiritual Journey, Inc. The name Pilgrim’s Landing was initially chosen for two reasons: its connotation of “pilgrimage” and being pilgrims or seekers on a journey. Secondly, the “landing” part of the name represented the intention to be a place where the community could walk in the door and feel a certain sense of grounding, a place to “land” in body, mind, and spirit.
The Board of Directors (BOD) made the decision to prioritize the name change in 2022 because of their growing awareness of the places in our community where the intersection of spirituality and social justice meet; along with their values around equity and inclusion. In 2021, the organization facilitated the 21 Day Racial Equity Indigenous Challenge in which many community members took part. It was a learning experience which expanded participants’ awareness of the full history and complexity of the Indigenous Peoples who lived on these lands for thousands of years before us, and still do. The community who participated, gained a deeper understanding and a fuller accounting of the European colonization of these lands and the devastating consequences for Native Peoples, that continues to this day. As the fuller accounting of history shows, colonization robbed the Indigenous Peoples of their land, their culture, and their lives, while systematically working towards erasing their 20,000-year-old history through omission and myths. As it is well known, the “pilgrims” are part of this complex history, along with the Thanksgiving story, with its misconceptions and myths.
While many in the community recognize and have an affinity for the name ‘Pilgrim’s Landing’, the organization continued to move forward and invited the community to be a part of a Focus Group to acknowledge the reasoning behind the decision and to generate ideas for a new name. The Center for the Spiritual Journey was chosen because it best describes the organization and its mission: “to inspire, support and accompany those on a journey toward a more compassionate, peaceful, and just world. By providing educational opportunities, meaningful experiences and a variety of resources, we are dedicated to the universal call to love and heal ourselves, our communities and our planet”.
Collectively, the BOD and its community members are committed to becoming better allies to our Indigenous neighbors by educating ourselves and by being in community. The name change is just one small but important way the organization is choosing to take responsibility for their part in this history. It also speaks of a commitment to inclusivity and justice for all beings everywhere, while recognizing that all of humanity is a ‘work in progress’.
For more information visit the website, www.csjcapecod.org or phone 508-945-1304.