Launched in 2022, Mind & Life’s Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship Program seeks to nurture and expand the community of Global Majority investigators in contemplative research. 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, the program’s successful pilot run in 2022 set the stage for its remarkable journey.
- 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 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.
Annually six Global Majority mentees are paired with six experienced mentors, who meet regularly to share their experiences, challenges, and aspirations. At the heart of the program is amplifying Global Majority voices and perspectives within contemplative studies academics. Amidst collaborative research and interdisciplinary endeavors, participants advocate for a research paradigm that honors diverse experiences of resilience and liberation across ethnicities and backgrounds.
Over the long-term, the program seeks 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. Drawing from the lineages and experiences of both the mentor and mentee, the program broadens the scope and understanding of contemplative practice to contribute to ever-expanding diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.
The Global Majority Leadership and Mentorship Program heralds a new era, urging contemplative science to transcend its limits and champion an inclusive research approach that entwines qualitative and quantitative data with lived experiences, and fostering growth, reflection, and deepened wisdom.
“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