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Restorative Practices in the African-American Community

  • A Better Way, Inc. 3200 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA 94703 (map)


Earl’s bio, Tiara’s bio, Gabriel’s bio,

This course will support providers working with African-American families and children to be more successful in helping them implement self-care, wellbeing, and restorative practices in their lives by helping them to understand and experience these practices in a way that is more deeply connected to and informed by African-American culture, and African-American cultural experience(s). In this training, we’ll exploring implementing the Applied Mindfulness Restorative Practices framework specifically within African-American cultural contexts. This course will be team-taught, and highly experiential. In the Restorative Practices framework, we explore a conceptual framework that is about turning on the Connection System, and mitigating impacts of adversity and overwhelming stress, through the application of mindful awareness. Because cultures are different, and mindfulness is universal, we are very interested in exploring culture-specific applications of mindfulness that address cultural elements specific to various cultural experiences and expressions. Within the context of the African-American experience, restorative practices have taken many shapes and forms. With a diverse panel of instructors, we’ll explore culture-specific elements of African-American culture that shape receptivity to various practices, things that make some practices more attuned to African-American experiences and cultural norms, and explore ways of thinking about and talking about these practices in a culturally-sensitive way. Together we’ll create a co-learning environment of deep exploration in order to figure out how to leverage everything we know about the application of mindfulness, neurophysiology, somatic, emotional, and nature awareness in the service of wellbeing within the context of the African-American community.

Co-presenters will include Earl Simms, a certified life coach, and formerly incarcerated African-American man who transformed himself through mindfulness and his own healing work, and has become a leading advocate for these practices and works on the vanguard of violence prevention efforts in Oakland, and Tiara Mosley, an African-American educator and experiential trainer with a focus on inclusion and early education in the African-American community.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to list 5 keystone concepts in the Applied Mindfulness Restorative Practices framework

Participants will analyze 4 particular qualities of the African-American experience that shape receptivity to restorative/ self-care practices, and explore which practices seem most resonant

Experience of 5 culturally-sensitive restorative practices and reflection upon their effects

Participant will learn 8 analogies, 3 ways of languaging, and 5 ways of referencing and rooting restorative practices in culturally-relevant ways to facilitate client comfort/ familiarity with practices