Social Justice, Mindfulness and the Law: Reflections on "the Self"

Tuesday, March 05, 2013
12:45 PM - 2:00 PM
Room 240
Event Type
Dan Carlin

Professor john a. powell is an internationally recognized scholar, practitioner, and teacher in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice. He currently directs the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, has served as the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and has written, litigated, and taught extensively on structural racism, corporate power, implicit bias, concentrated poverty, affirmative action, racial identity, spirituality & social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society.

Professor powell has also had a mindful practice since the 1970s. He will share his perspective on the prevailing conception of “self,” as isolated and disconnected from others, as a root cause of both social injustice and individual unhappiness.  A practice of mindfulness, reflection, or spirituality – with roots in an expansive array of traditions and beliefs – offers one approach to transforming this limited sense of “self,” at both the individual and societal levels. The everyday work of social justice advocacy and the practice of mindfulness each have a recursive and crucial role, both historically and presently, in transforming the structures that marginalize and oppress members of society viewed as “others.”  Professor powell will discuss his experiences, and the broader potential for this transformative work to create more a more fair and inclusive society, and to re-imagine a sustainable and healthy approach to our lives as students and practitioners.

Part of the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law speaker series.

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