Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Mind & Life

Historically, the Mind & Life community has been dominated by a select and largely racially and ethnically homogenous group of scientists, scholars, and practitioners from a handful of academic institutions. This homogeneity reinforces societal imbalances and biases, running counter to Mind & Life’s mission to alleviate suffering and to promote human flourishing. Furthermore, it diminishes the field’s capacity to adequately understand the human mind and investigate the mechanisms and impact of contemplative practices.

In response to feedback from stakeholders and a developing awareness of the context in which Mind & Life is situated, a reevaluation of the Institute’s strategic priorities was initiated. Early on in her presidency, Mind & Life president Susan Bauer-Wu shared her vision for the future of the organization, calling for a more diverse and inclusive community that moves beyond mere demographics, but serves as a bridge between contemplative scholarship, practice and social action. To this end, Mind & Life hired Eboni Bugg, the first Senior Manager for Diversity, Inclusion and Global Outreach, to help carry this vision forward with the ultimate goal of elevating critical issues and enhancing the organization’s capacity to support diversity and inclusion initiatives.

To support this vital work, Mind & Life convened the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, composed of an interdisciplinary team of members of the Mind & Life community with interest and expertise to help move strategic initiatives forward. Over the next year, the Council will focus on strengthening internal capacity through training and leadership development, implement a comprehensive outreach and communications plan, and work to increase representation of individuals historically marginalized in practice communities, academic settings and research institutions.

Current Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council members include:

Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Martin N. Davidson
University of Virginia

Chris Kaplan
Amor Art Farm Oasis & Canticle Farm

Rhonda V. Magee
University of San Francisco School of Law

Juan F. Santoyo
Brown University

Helen Weng
University of California, San Francisco

Susan Bauer-Wu (ex officio)
Mind & Life Institute

Eboni Bugg (ex officio)
Mind & Life Institute


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