Black Studies Professors Participate in Mindfulness Conference

Black Studies
June 9, 2016

Black Studies professors, Dr. Tabitha Chester, Dr. Toni King, and Dr. Karen Powell Sears recently participated in a conference geared toward improving College and University environments by bringing mindfulness practices into the classroom and campus community.

Drs. Chester, King, and Powell Sears were among six Denison professors to participate in the annual conference on mindfulness in higher education. This year’s conference “Creating a Mindful Campus: Resilience—Self, Campus and Community, Planet” took place at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, NC, May 23-24, 2016. Those attending from Denison University included: Dr. Tabitha Chester, Black Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Jill Gillespie, Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Toni King, Director, the Black Studies Program, Dr. Marci McCaulay, Director of the Center for Women and Gender Action, Dr. Gill Miller, Director of the Women ’s and Gender Studies Program, and Dr. Karen Powell Sears, Anthropology/Sociology. This initiative grew out of a reading group spearheaded by Jill Gillespie and Tabitha Chester through the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Reading group participants engaged in a semester long reading of the book: “Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy: Social Justice in Higher Education” by Beth Berila (Routledge, 2016).

Dr. Karen Powell Sears and Dr. Mary Tuominen, (professor emeritus, Anthropology/Sociology) collaborated to secure dual funding by the Denison Intercultural Education Excursion fund and the Center for Learning and Teaching that made this trip possible. The Denison faculty participants will be making recommendations for developing mindfulness practices at Denison, and offer a presentation during the 2016-2017 academic year.