In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
In collaboration with the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law, Prison Mindfulness Institute launched a Mindful Justice Initiative in 2014 and recently convened a Mindful Justice Conference at the Fetzer Institute’s Seasons Retreat Center with 24 influential leaders from the full spectrum of the U.S. criminal justice system, including current police and corrections officials, former judges, prosecutors and public defenders, victim advocates, program providers, law professors, restorative justice advocates and community activists. Meeting over four days, September 17 – 20, 2015, the group explored mindfulness-based approaches to transforming our criminal justice system and creating a system that is more humane, compassionate, effective and sustainable, one that is a force for healing... Learn More
When I was promoted to tenured full professor, the dean of my law school kindly had flowers sent to me at my home in Pacific Heights, an overpriced San Francisco neighborhood almost devoid of black residents. I opened the door to find a tall, young, African-American deliveryman who announced, “Delivery for Professor Magee.” I, a petite black woman, dressed for a simple Saturday spent in my own home, reached for the flowers saying, “I am Professor Magee.” The deliveryman looked down at the order and back up at me. Apparently shaken from the hidden ground of his preconceptions, he looked at me again. Incredulous, he asked, “Are you sure?” Let... Learn More
from Greater Good By Sara Tollefson | July 28, 2014 | Let’s face it: seeing the words “lawyer” and “mindfulness” in the same sentence looks a little weird. Rhonda Magee speaks at the GGSC’s “Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion” conference on March 8, 2013. This might be why lawyers suffer disproportionately high levels of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Lawyers are almost four times more likely to be depressed than non-lawyers, and twice as likely to be alcoholics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lawyers rank fourth in the professions with the most suicides. So maybe there is a role for mindfulness in the legal profession after all.... Learn More
Hillsboro cops forge revolutionary path with meditation training By Rebecca Woolington | The Oregonian/OregonLive on April 04, 2014 at 7:12 AM, updated April 04, 2014 at 7:15 AM The cops gathered in the dim, cozy studio. Dressed in gym clothes, they stretched out on dark green yoga mats. Lie on your back, the instructor said. Get comfy. Focus on your left little toe, he softly intoned. What’s there? How does it feel? He moved on, toe by toe, left foot, then right. How does it feel? Dry? Sore? The instructor continued slowly, asking participants to focus their minds, and energy, on each body part. If you catch yourself wandering, he... Learn More