Professor Oliver Hill Lecture: "Identity, Nonjudgment and Social Action - Contemplative Practice in the Pursuit of Justice"

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Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Professor Hill, whose father was on Thurgood Marshall’s legal team in the landmark
Brown vs. Board of Education case in 1954, will describe his own inner journey growing
up African American in the segregated South, and how that informs his own
contemplative journey. He will also develop and argument that contemplative practice
forms the heart of transformative social justice work, and he will speak to the issues of
spiritual bypassing and cultural appropriation that are often raised by critics of
contemplative work with marginalized communities.

Oliver W. Hill, Jr. is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at Virginia State University specializing in the study of cognition. He received his undergraduate training in History at Howard University in Washington, DC, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Hill is a former Fellow and current board member of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and he has developed several courses infusing contemplative pedagogy into the psychology curriculum at VSU. In addition to his research interests in mindfulness and contemplative practices, he is currently principal investigator on three projects funded by the National Science Foundation: one studying the efficacy of cognitive training as an intervention in STEM education; and two examining the impact of the content and pedagogy of the Algebra
Project on mathematics performance of minority students at both the K-12 and college levels. He is also particularly interested in fostering the concept of quality education as a civil right for all students. Hill has been practicing meditation since 1970, and teaching meditation since 1972.