Towards an Embodied Social Justice: Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy

Posted on May 19, 2014

A webinar with Beth Berila
Director of the Women’s Studies Program and Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department, St. Cloud State University
Originally broadcast on Thursday, June 5, 2014


Download a .pdf of the presentation slides

This webinar explores how contemplative practices can deepen feminist and critical race pedagogies in Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other courses about diversity, power, and oppression. Mindfulness can help students both understand their reactions in class discussions and help them become more intentional about them. But they may also evoke for students complex responses to their own experiences of oppression. As teachers, we have a responsibility to help students make sense of those responses.

How does embodiment play a role in unlearning oppression? How might our identity locations and our lived experiences shape our responses to mindfulness practices? What kinds of consequences from oppression might arise for students when we integrate contemplative practices into the classroom? How can professors be prepared for these diverse responses and effectively support students?

This webinar will establish a foundation for WHY we need mindfulness in these classrooms and then will discuss how teachers can prepare students for the myriad of reactions that might arise when they are asked to be present with what is.

Beth BerilaBETH BERILA is the Director of the Women’s Studies Program and a Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at St. Cloud State University. She earned her 200-hour yoga certification with Senior Anusara instructors and is completing her 340-hour yoga teacher certification with Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work addresses intersections of embodiment, feminism, yoga, and mindful education. She is particularly interested in how contemplative practices such as yoga and meditation offer students an embodied empowerment that deeply compliments other kinds of empowerment found in Women’s Studies disciplines. Her current writings focus on how college students can learn to use contemplative practices to live healthier, more balanced lives, and how teachers can effectively integrate contemplative practices to help students unlearn the effects of systems of oppression. More information can be found at http://www.bethberila.com.

2 Comments

  1. How very timely and useful this webinar was for me, personally,and professionally for interdisciplinary learning around social change. I would appreciate more knowledge about contemplative-grounded of critical race theory/praxis. Please direct me to appropriate websites and organizations.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Challenging Racism and Oppression in Academia | The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society - […] Beth. (June 5, 2014). “Towards an Embodied Social Justice: Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy.” Video of an ACMHE webinar.…
  2. Mixed Media | Teaching Ferguson - […] Berila, Towards an Embodied Social Justice: Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy. A […]
  3. Resources on Moving from Blame to Cultivating Compassion in Social Justice Work - […] Towards an Embodied Social Justice: Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy […]

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