In the spring of 2022, Mind & Life introduced the groundbreaking Global Majority Leadership Mentorship Program. This initiative was born to nurture and expand the community of Global Majority investigators in contemplative research, with a special focus on those seeking grants from our organization and inviting participants to join the Mind & Life Summer Research Institute. The program’s foundation lies in Inclusive Contemplative Leadership and Mentorship, uniting the wisdom of both mentors and mentees, and thereby broadening the horizons of contemplative practice to embrace inclusive leadership and liberation pedagogy. Developed by an interdisciplinary working group in 2021, led by Dr. Kamilah Majied, Program Development Lead Consultant and inclusivity and equity consultant, the program’s successful pilot run in 2022 set the stage for its remarkable journey.
The mission of the Mind & Life Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship Program is to develop inclusive contemplative leadership in both the process and product of the mentoring experience. The long-term purpose of our program is to create a more equitable environment within and beyond academia by generating both the bottom-up and top-down changes that disrupt existing disparities in science and scholarship. Our program uses Inclusive Contemplative Leadership and Mentorship approaches that draws from the lineages and experiences of both the mentor and mentee and which broadens the scope and understanding of contemplative practice to contribute to ever-expanding diversity, equity and inclusiveness.
Our core values are squarely focused on Contemplative Leadership that advances liberation of human interior life in tandem with supporting human liberation from injustice in the world.
At the heart of this program is a tribute to Global Majority voices and perspectives of contemplative studies academics. In a world that often resounds with chaos, their voices emerge as resilient notes of resistance, reshaping the narrative. The chorus of joy as a form of resistance resonates strongly, revealing that within joy lies a potent tool for confronting oppressive systems and narratives, contributing to well-being and empowerment. Amidst collaborative research and interdisciplinary endeavors, the participants advocate for a research paradigm that honors diverse experiences of resilience, liberation, and happiness across ethnicities and backgrounds.
The Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship Program heralds a new era, urging contemplative science to transcend its limits and embrace a more grounded transformation. The rhythm of overwork makes space for rest, play, and creative engagement. The program champions an inclusive research approach, entwining qualitative and quantitative data with lived experiences, fostering a cycle of growth, reflection, and wisdom. This journey cultivates a methodology that aligns academia and science with the natural cadence of human existence.
This program intends to:
- Address Internalized Racism: Mentors guide mentees to dismantle internalized racism, fostering awareness and emotional growth for positive societal change.
- Challenge Institutional Racism: Mentors equip mentees with strategies to confront institutional racism in academia, promoting equity and diversity.
- Promote Inclusive Scholarship: Collaborative exploration of contemplative-based research cultivates diverse and decolonized knowledge and practice.
- Amplify Underrepresented Voices: Encourage Black, Indigenous, global majority students to engage in contemplative science research, enriching perspectives within the field.
- Link Research to Transformation: Mentorship bridges contemplative research with practical change, fostering impactful societal contributions.
Nurturing Seeds of Transformation
We invite you to be part of a journey that envisions contemplative wisdom as a tapestry woven from the threads of the global majority. Together, we dismantle the barriers of oppression, nurture the seeds of liberation, and reimagine contemplative research and practice in a vibrant, inclusive, and embodied manner. Your support is crucial in fueling this mission. With your generous donations and funding, you amplify the transformative power of these voices, shaping the very landscape of the field. Please join us as we co-create a new chapter, unearthing a legacy that reverberates with the transformative potential of the Global Majority Leadership Mentorship Program. Embark on this journey and empower change. Click the “Donate” button to contribute to this impactful endeavor today.
“Interacting with my mentee was an excellent learning experience! I know I have more to learn and I appreciated how this was a mutual learning experience.”— Mentor
“I am more open to exploring different pathways of leveraging my skills as a way to determine next professional steps – sort of going with what’s calling me with no expectations.”— Mentee
“This program provided me with a sounding board for my wildest and most daring dreams. ”— Mentee
“I feel affirmed, seen, validated and respected and because of that more confidence in who I am and what I offer to the field of practice by just being me.”— Mentee
“We created new cultures of bipoc-centered contemplative practice (e.g. dancing to music and sharing joy in ways that are absent in white dominant contemplative spaces), and reconnecting to Mind & Life in a more liberatory way than I’ve been in the past.”— Mentee
“It was great to have a space to explore my cultural roots, how they have shaped my experience in the US, and [how they] continue to interact with my environment to influence my day-to-day experiences. For me, this process also invited me to reconnect with first-person exploration through meditation as well as a dialogue (with my mentor) in a new way. I also appreciated the strength framework, which allowed me to see that there are significant strengths stemming from my experience of being an Asian woman in the US (as opposed to it being mainly tied to struggles as a minority).”— Mentee
“This should be a signature MLI program and continued over time. There could also be a special forum featuring the work of Global Majority leaders and mentors sponsored by MLI. Global Majority participants are the very group that can help MLI and the field of contemplative studies and pedagogy to engage with issues related to equity, justice, and anti-oppression.”— Mentor
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org