why mindfulness for justice
In the United States, we face extreme injustice on every level of our society. Due to racism/systemic whiteness, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, religious intolerance, etc., some social groups have been systematically advantaged while others have faced centuries of oppression resulting in widespread harm and inter-generational trauma.
And yet -- we can look to a long legacy of courageous resistance and progressive change to motivate our continued work for justice. I have been personally inspired by contemporary social change agents operating from a contemplative lens. Leaders such as Tovi Scruggs-Hussein, Rhonda Magee, Beth Berila, Ruth King, Shakil Choudhury, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, adrienne marie brown, Thich Nhat Hanh, and others challenge us to infuse our social justice efforts with the grounded power of mindful awareness.
Decades of research have shown that mindfulness practices can enhance our self-awareness, emotional regulation, adaptability, and compassion. These skills empower us to challenge internalized oppression and domination, stay engaged as challenging emotions inevitably arise, and build understanding across difference (see the emerging research on mindfulness and justice). In this way, mindfulness can serve as a powerful tool to enhance both personal well-being and collective healing toward justice.