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The Science of Social Justice

Here at MindHeart, well-being and social justice are one and the same – one cannot exist without the other! We cannot effectively work towards social justice in our communities without taking care of our hearts, minds, and bodies, and vice versa.

We are inspired by the idea that the mind and the heart are one and the same – so we lean into the power of contemplative practices that have been cultivated with the intention of strengthening the heartmind connection whenever we create workshops or experiences that are meant to be supportive of social justice in our communities.

In other words, Social Justice is both a biopsychosocial and spiritual phenomenon – so all of our efforts here at MindHeart to support the social justice movement attend holistically to the how the body, mind, and community are impacted by intersectional forms of harm and inequality, and lean into embodied and contemplative wisdom to help guide clients through their unique process of creating greater healing, safety, loving-kindness and compassionate presence in their communities.

The Science of Social Justice, as developed by Dr. Sará King, is the study of the intersectional impact of the psychological (mental), embodied (physiological), and relational (relationship-based) trauma that has resulted from centuries of systemic and institutionalized oppression here in the local US context as well as that which has been perpetuated through colonialism and imperialism on a global and international level.

The Science of Social Justice is an integral part of how all of our research projects, workshops, seminars, and curriculums are framed.

The Science of Social Justice is a way of both studying (researching) and teaching (facilitating) that is informed by an interdisciplinary framework that merges political science, ethnic studies, feminist and queer studies, interpersonal neurobiology, cognitive and affective neuroscience, psychology, socio-linguistics, and public health.

In all of MindHeart’s research projects, seminars, or one-on-one sessions, there are two central questions that guide the experience we co create- “What is the issue of social justice that is  impacting a person, group, or community?” We know that there is a social, psychological, and biological answer to this! We then want to investigate “How can the Science of Well-Being be put to the service of Social Justice?” and blend this seamlessling into how we frame the project or workshop that we co-create together.

It is important to note that when the Science of Social Justice and the Science of Well-Being are put in conversation with one another, they describe how identity (race, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) and the trauma of discrimination and marginalization interact in an intersectional fashion with one another – and how these impact well-being.

These traumas, as they are experienced and processed through the body, are embodied as well as they are relational. This means that the pain of discrimination and marginalization lives both within the emotional, psychological and physical bodies of individuals, but it also is experienced within the realm of interpersonal relationships and communities.

All of our embodied healing practices are informed by our constantly evolving understanding about the particular needs of POC, indigenous communties and their allies, and how their lives are impacted by mental, emotional, and physical health disparities.

The contemplative and healing practices that are offered in the context of MindHeart curriculums and workshops are explicitly meant to address issues that are at the heart of trauma and social justice. They are framed and designed to assist people with healing who are either working in the field of social justice (environmental justice; food justice; racial justice; justice for the LGBTQI community, etc) and who therefore are navigating the embodied impact of helping those who are experiencing marginalization – or for those who are currently experiencing marginalization themselves.

Here at MindHeart, we believe that the only way for healing justice to occur is for us to serve those who have put their lives at the service of social justice, as well as those who are navigating the lived experience of inequality.

We support the creation of safe spaces of empowerment where people can cultivate and experience loving-kindness and self-compassion – and by extension, we hope that these energetic qualities will positively shift the way they work and live, for the benefit of their entire community!

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