Concordia will be holding a FREE hybrid presentation + symposium (Journée d’échange ) on Friday, May 12 (10 am – 5 pm EST) where we will bring together researchers and staff who are interested in or are running mindfulness programs on their university campuses.
In the last ten years there has been a growing interest in mindfulness practices, techniques, and programs for use across many university campuses as an evidence-based approach to reducing stress, increasing presence, and for improving overall well-being in students, faculty and staff.
The symposium is a call to researchers, program designers and staff committed to well-being to come together to take stock of the kinds of mindfulness initiatives that are being offered on our campuses and the audience(s) they target. The symposium seeks to adopt a systems approach to encourage learning by bringing together colleagues who work in teaching & learning, faculty development, and student support. The goal of adopting this approach is to think about the wellness of a whole campus and how best to support its health.
The main objective of the symposium is to spark dialogue about using mindfulness and allied techniques (i.e., compassion cultivation) as a mechanism for changing campus culture to support well-being by bringing greater connection amongst community members on campus, linking the work we do in our respective silos. We hope to organize our thinking around three central concerns:
What are the characteristics, qualities and/or practices of a campus that is “mindful,” one that supports greater self-awareness, connectedness, and cultural sensitivity?
How could a contemplative or mindful campus change the lived experiences of faculty, students, and staff in a higher education context? What has worked on your campus? How have you collected evidence of this?
In what ways can we encourage and sustain a mindful campus?
The call to action
If you would like to present your research or share the approaches you have adopted on your campus, we welcome a 10-min presentation to seed our exchange. Please email a short description of your initiative and its outcomes to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 28, 2023. Presentations can be made in person at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada, or online.
Information about registration will follow!
Confirmed speakers / Tentative Agenda
10 – 11:30 am EST — Presentation
Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Dean, School of Social Work, University of Manitoba, CANADA
“The Power of Ceremony: Indigenous Contemplative Practices, Neurodecolonization, and Indigenous Mindfulness”
Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. Michael Yellow Bird will discuss colonization, decolonization, and neurodecolonization, and their role in Indigenous Peoples health. He will share how he uses western science to suggest what is happening to the chronically stressed, traumatized colonized mind and body of Indigenous Peoples. He discusses some traditional Indigenous contemplative practices and what’s happening in the brain and body according to western science and how Indigenous contemplative practices create resilient coping in the brain and body.
1 – 5 pm EST — Research Presentation & Participant Exchange
Roundtable presentations of campus initiatives
Concordia University will present their Contemplative Pedagogies Initiative
OCADU will present their Mindful Campus Initiative
More to come as they are confirmed!
Brainstorming / Dialogue for all participants