- September 22, 2021
- 7:00 pm
- Online (PDT)
In a society where unconscious bias, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, and systemic injustices are deeply ingrained, healing is an ongoing process. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of those like us, and to blame others. Author, meditation teacher, and law professor Rhonda Magee teaches that in order to have the difficult conversations required for working toward racial justice, inner work is essential.
Through the practice of embodied mindfulness—paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way—we increase our emotional resilience, recognize our own biases, and become less reactive when triggered. Rhonda teaches that embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. These practices help us to slow down and reflect on microaggressions—holding them with some objectivity and distance—rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time.
Through her work and her writing, Rhonda helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division. By healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection, we can develop the ability to view others with compassion, and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. In Rhonda's latest book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice, she incorporates mindfulness exercises, research, and her own hard-won insights to offer us a road map to a more peaceful world.
Join CIIS Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion Damali Robertson in a conversation about Rhonda's life and work, her latest book, and learn how mindfulness can heal ourselves, and transform our communities.
Rhonda V. Magee is a professor of law at the University of San Francisco. Also trained in sociology and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), she is a highly practiced facilitator of trauma-sensitive, restorative MBSR interventions for lawyers and law students, and for minimizing the effects of social-identity-based bias. Magee has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society and a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.
Damali Robertson joins the California Institute of Integral Studies as Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion after a 15-year career in progressive non-profit leadership. She brings an unshakable commitment to equity and justice along with rich lived experiences to her role at CIIS. From 2008-2011, Damali helped pioneer Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the Haas Center for Public Service (long before the uprisings of 2020 and long before many organizations were ready to invest in this critical work). More recently, she spent a year leading an in-depth racial equity project to address the achievement gap between Black students and their peers at a Bay Area high school. That project inspired her to become an even more vocal practitioner, advocate and thought leader in the DEI space and motivated her decision to pursue a MA in Social Justice and Organizing. Most recently, she co-led DEI initiatives at Root & Rebound while also leading their fundraising and communications efforts, creating campaigns about the systemic injustices and disparities built into America’s criminal legal system. Damali grounds her work in antiracist and anti-oppression praxis. She is also a restorative justice and mindfulness practitioner who approaches everything with a ‘restorative impulse,’ integrity, lots of deep breaths and compassion. Damali identifies as a Black, queer, differently abled, Jamaican-American woman, poet, writer, and teacher who is also a mother of two young adults and pet parent to two adorable and sometimes noisy doggies. Damali lives in Oakland, CA and loves travel, spicy food, Reggae and Hip-Hop music.
We are grateful to our Bookstore Partner, Marcus Books:
Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere.