It’s Black History Month, and we all can be proud of the many unique contributions to the fabric of our nation made by African Americans. Our history of struggles and triumphs, suffering and resilience is at the core of American history. Even so, as a Black man living in America, I know that violence is repeatedly inflicted upon communities of color. From police brutality to hate-motivated attacks, all too often, we are seen as less than human, and our lives are not given the value they deserve.
People of Color have long been resilient in the face of difficult and challenging circumstances. Mindfulness is one way to achieve resilience. It’s a practice that can be used to cultivate resilience by managing stress and reducing anxiety, both of which can be particularly acute in our communities which have experienced long-term structural racism and oppression.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool when working for equity and inclusion, and an effective way to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of others. I use mindfulness techniques as an incredibly helpful tool for managing all that comes with living in a society that often marginalizes my experiences. Practices like meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking time to appreciate the present moment helps me to take a step back and acknowledge my emotions, process what is happening, and better understand how to cope with difficult situations. Mindfulness also provides me with clarity and a sense of calm in the face of adversity, allowing me to find the peace and strength to face the challenges that come with being a part of the Black American experience.
Learning to observe my thoughts and feelings without judgment has helped me become aware of my underlying attitudes, beliefs and resulting actions. This awareness gives me insight and helps me make choices that are consciously inline with my work as a cultural inclusion practitioner. Ultimately, mindfulness has enhanced my ability to act with greater integrity for the cause.
As a consultant working toward Cultural Inclusion, I am grateful for Community Build Ventures’ focus on healing and self-care. CBV’s commitment to understanding the complexities of cultural inclusion and its ability to foster meaningful dialogue between stakeholders is essential to the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I know our work together will continue to move us closer to a more just and equitable society, where all voices are respected and valued.