Note: This article arose from a conversation with Rhonda Magee, a law professor and mindfulness teacher and the author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities through Mindfulness. Magee writes about the importance of mindfulness for people of all and various racialized identities working toward racial justice. This article is written from our understanding as white-embodied, cisgender women, and includes reflections from Rhonda, a Black-embodied, cisgender woman. It may be especially helpful for white-embodied readers who are interested in understanding how mindfulness-based practices might assist them in addressing systemic racism, or, for people of color exploring ways of working with white-embodied people through mindfulness. We encourage all readers to check out Magee's writings to see how her work resonates for you.
As images of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a police officer spread across our televisions, websites, and social media platforms, more white people are just now waking up to the reality of racial inequity in America - a reality that has long been the lived experience of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). While white people may feel moved to do something, we may also feel helpless: How can we help fix a systemic problem that is so complex and pervasive?
Law professor, mindfulness teacher, and social justice advocate Rhonda Magee believes that we start by cultivating mindfulness, what she calls “The Inner Work of Racial Justice.” In a March 2020 interview with Taking Charge, Professor Magee discussed the systemic inequalities that have contributed to deep societal unrest and explained how developing a strong mindfulness practice can help us do the inner work we need to make changes that will impact not just ourselves, but the collective society.