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Sun, 28 Jul


The Grand Auditorium

Belonging - 6th Annual Empowerment symposium - Live at Birkbeck College

With Rhonda Magee & Cathy Mae Karelse, Mark Leonard, Live at Birkbeck College

Belonging - 6th Annual Empowerment symposium -  Live at Birkbeck College
Belonging - 6th Annual Empowerment symposium -  Live at Birkbeck College

Time & Location

28 Jul 2024, 11:00 – 17:00

The Grand Auditorium, London WC1E 7HX, UK


About The Event

Belonging - An Intercultural Mindfulness gathering

6th Annual Empowerment Symposium - Live at Birkbeck College - (Open to all)

With Rhonda Magee, Cathy-Mae Karelse and Mark Leonard & Music and performances by Andrea Roye

Hosted by William Fley and Imani Sorhaindo

Sunday, 28th July 2024, 11.00am-5.00PM

Mindfulness in its various forms is now a common method for self-regulation, self-care, healing and well-being. Over the last four decades, the movement has exploded in the US and UK, and its utilisation is now found everywhere from boardrooms and bedrooms, to schools, prisons, and hospitals. Yet popular Mindfulness is infused in white centrality and late capitalism despite being practised in ancient systems by People of Colour for thousands of years.

Western society replicates existing social norms and dominant narratives: an essentially White Mindfulness reflects racialised institutional profiles and a largely White, middle-class audience. How can we make a more inclusive trajectory and build a society which values the richness and vastness of our human and spiritual interdependence, sense of belonging and community, to help build intercultural spaces and societies?

Please join us for an exciting event with presentations, music and discussions at the famous auditorium at Birkbeck College.

This event is open to everyone, students, teachers, scholars mental health practitioners and those interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. We will have a selection of stalls in our Mindfulness and Well-Being Space, please bring your own lunch, and presentations by leading Mindfulness practitioners and guides around equity, diveristy and inclusion.

If you would like be a Sponsor at this event and have your logo featured, please let us know.

Professor Rhonda V. Magee, M.A., J.D., is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, where she has taught Torts, Insurance Law, Race in American Legal History, and a course she co-created called Contemplative Lawyering. She is the author of the The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness (Penguin RandomHouse TarcherPerigee: 2019, which broke new ground on publication as the first book of its kind to integrate mindfulness principles and practices thoroughly into the conversation on addressing race and racism in diverse settings and communities, and helping us heal from the trauma that the legacies of racism causes. She accepted authorization as a spiritual guide and teacher in the Zen lineage, Hoshi Myozen Magee also draws on her training as a mindfulness teacher trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and her study and co-teaching with Bhikkhu Analayo, a Buddhist Monk in the Theravadan tradition, and renown scholar of early Buddhism. Hoshi Magee is a founding advisor of the Mindfulness in Law Society, and an internationally recognized mindfulness teacher and Keynote speaker. Her current writing and teaching explore how culturally-specific practices – including Black cultural spirituality and the quality of soulfulness -- may intersect with and strengthen mindfulness.

In January 2023, Magee received an appointment to the National Institutes of Health’s National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health, which plays a key role advising the NCCIH on forthcoming research projects and policies. In Fall 2023, and while continuing to serve as Professor of Law, Rhonda accepted an appointment as the founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Law and Ethics at the University of San Francisco.

Cathy Mae Karelse, PhD is an independent specialist in deep systems change and decolonisation with 20+ years’ expertise in social transformation. In the last decade, she has extended her work to social health policies and systems and is a recognized thought leader in diversity, inclusion and belonging (DEI+). She designs and develops customised change-making strategies at multiple levels to shepherd meaningful transformation. Specialising in turning grand plans for DEI+ into practical strategies and programmes that deliver results, Dr Karelse has worked with corporates, governments, policy institutes, communities, and global programmes to establish policies, processes and social strategies of leadership, wellbeing, transformation, and growth. As author of Disrupting White Mindfulness: Race and Racism in the Wellbeing Industry and with a global network, her remit includes the support of global South leadership in sustainable transformation agendas. In addition to offering strategic thought leadership, she also operates personally as an educator, coach, and mentor.

Mark Leonard- Grew up in a countercultural bubble of post-war idealism and 60s bohemian sensibilities that made 'planet' St Ives and Cornish art internationally famous.   He studied zoology, but realised that something was wrong because the whole - life - is greater than the sum of the parts. His student life in the late seventies revolved around punk, reggae, and anti-apartheid. He ended up experiencing a series of psychotic episodes before working as a fisherman.Mark has combined a quest for answers in two realms: understanding traditional wisdom in search of healing and understanding how to create a sustainable future. He played a key role in establishing the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in 2008 and, in spite of resistance from powerful interests in therapy and academia, has been a leading innovator in the field. He developed Mindfulness-Based Organisational Education (MBOE), which is the first short social mindfulness programme recognised by BAMBA and VMBN. Social mindfulness empowers us by enabling us to see how we create a sense of difference and gives us the tools to create an inclusive, sustainable future for all.


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