Diversity and Equity at the Mindfulness Center at Brown

DEI Statement

We at the Mindfulness Center at Brown are committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our teaching, curricula, and research, and to advancing diversity along its many dimensions within and beyond our organization. We strive to engage students, participants, trainees, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds and experiences in leading the next generation of mindfulness scholarship, instruction, and practice. We invite you to join us in shaping a welcoming and affirming environment, drawing on the potential of mindfulness to foster inclusivity while making mindfulness training and practice more inclusive.

 

Research Projects

Brewer

  • A Mindfulness Approach to Unwinding Anxiety for Afro-descendents (PI: Brewer. Adapt and optimize the Unwinding Anxiety app for people of color, with a focus on underserved black residents in New Kensington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Proulx:  

  • Mindful Civic and Community Leadership Program (PI: Proulx. Mindfulness programming with police and black community members; City of Flint Michigan; University of North Carolina; Mindful Badge; Center for Council)
  • Is Mindful Meditation Acceptable and Culturally Appropriate For Narragansett People? (PI: Proulx: Mindfulness development in the Narragansett community; development of mindfulness for teens at Narragansett) 
  • NativeMIND-Diabetes (K99/R0099AT009570; PI: Proulx. Development of adapted mindfulness programs with Native nations in Oregon and California to address diabetes. Klamath Tribes and United Indian Health Service; Oregon Health & Science University)
  • NativeMIND-GDM (PI’s: Emily Jones & Shondra Macgage; Development of mindfulness programming for Chickasaw moms with gestational diabetes: Chickasaw Nation and University of Oklahoma). 
  • Solutions for Social Media Conflict: A Youth Engaged Approach ( PI Caitlin Elsaesser University of Connecticut; co-I’s Jeffrey Proulx and Zoie Carter; Mindfulness content development for at-risk black youth in Hartford Schools). 

Sun: 

  • Mindfulness-based Interventions for Racial and Ethnic Minorities: A meta-analysis (PI: Sun)
  • Mindfulness-based interventions for sexual and gender minorities: A systematic review and evidence evaluation (PI: Sun)
  • Developing internet-delivered, mindfulness-based intervention to reduce HIV risk and promote mental and sexual health among young adult MSM (funded by NICCH/NIH; K23 AT011173;PI: Sun)
  • Exploring a Mindfulness-based Approach to Promote Mental and Sexual Health in Young MSM (funded by Brown University School of Public Health Catalyst Award; PIs: Sun, Operario & Brewer)
  • Testing a mobile mindfulness intervention to address the burden of obesity and psychological distress among mid-age sexual minority women affected by early life adversities (funded by NIA/NIH; R24 AG065174; Pilot grant PIs: Sun & Brewer)

Palitsky: 

  • Cultural Adaptations of Mindfulness: (PI: Palitsky). A systematic review of cultural adaptations of mindfulness-based programs.
  • Religious and Cultural Moderators of Mindfulness Response: (PI: Palitsky) A series of studies examining how cultural variables such as religion influence people’s responses to mindfulness.
  • Dynamics of Science and Religiosity in the context of Meditation-Related Challenges: Processes of Meaning-Making among Practitioners of Buddhist Meditation in the West: (MPI: Palitsky & Lindahl) This project examines the role of scientific and religious worldviews among practitioners of Buddhist meditation in the West who have experienced meditation-related challenges. 
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Relevant Publications

  • Le, T., & Proulx, J. (2015). Feasibility of mindfulness-based intervention for incarcerated mixed-ethnic Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander youth. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 6(2)181-189. doi: 10.1037/AAP0000019
  • Proulx, J., Croff, R., Oken, B., Aldwin, C.M., Fleming, C., Bergen-Cico, D., Le, T., & Noorani, M. (2018). Considerations for research and development of culturally relevant mindfulness interventions in American minority communities. Mindfulness, 9(2), 361-370. doi: 10.1007/s12671-017-0785-z
  •  Proulx, J., Croff, R., Hebert, M., & Oken, B. (2020). Results of a mindfulness intervention feasibility study among elder African American women: A qualitative analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 52, 102455.  doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.1024551.     
  • Eichel, K., Gawande, R., Acabchuk, R., Palitsky, R., Chau, S., Pham, A., Cheaito, A., Yam, D., Lipsky, J., Dumais, T., Zhu, Z., King, J., Fulwiler, C., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Moitra, E., Proulx, J., Alejandre-Lara, A., Britton, W. (in press) Exclusion by Omission: A systematic Review of Diversity Variables in Mindfulness-Based Programs. Mindfulness
  • Palitsky, R., Young, I., Williams, B. (in press) Religious and cultural determinants in the application of cognitive historiography to Abhinavagupta’s dramaturgical perspective. Journal of Cognitive Historiography
  • Palitsky, R. & Kaplan, D. M. (2019) The role of religion for Mindfulness-Based Interventions: implications for dissemination and implementation. Mindfulness, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-019-01253-0
  • Sun, S., Nardi, W., Loucks, E., & Operario, D. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for sexual and gender minorities: A systematic review. Mindfulness. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01710-9
  • Sun, S., Goldberg, S. B., Loucks, E., & Brewer, J. A. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for people of color: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research. Online First Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2021.1937369
  • Sun, S., Sheridan, M. A., Tyrka, A., Donofry, S. D., Erickson, K., & Loucks, E. B. Addressing the biological embedding of early life adversities (ELA) among adults 

 

Some of our initiatives

  • We are conducting a climate survey to better understand ways in which we can adapt our programs to be more inclusive and equitable. Information from this survey will help us launch tailored initiatives to grow as a community.
  • We are compiling all the different ways in which teachers have been integrating DEI in their classes. These will inform recommendations at each level of instruction for programs  open to the general public, as well as in our teacher training pathway. Our intention is to ensure that our programs address the importance of identity, social location, inclusion, and power dynamics within our programs. 
  • Our DEI committee is participating in the Brown Seminar for Transformation around Anti-Racist Teaching (START), a multidisciplinary, stakeholder-involved, university-wide initiative focused on disseminating anti-racist pedagogy. We will be making recommendations for adapting our curricula based on pedagogic innovations identified in collaboration with START seminar colleagues and facilitators, as well as our colleagues at the Mindfulness Center at Brown.
  • Thanks in part to donors, we have limited scholarships available for people from marginalized groups. Please reach out to us if you would like to be considered for a scholarship. 
  • We are in the process of establishing a forum for people in the teacher trainer pathway who identify as BIPOC and/or LBGTQ+ to gather, address needs specific to them, and for peer support. 
  • We have a  strong commitment to research that advances equity for all stakeholders in mindfulness. See above for our growing list of research initiatives that help foster mindfulness that is truly accessible  to all. 

 

Committee Members 

Jeffrey Proulx, PhD
Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior 
Assistant Professor Native American and Indigenous Studies
Assistant Professor Contemplative Studies

Roman Palitsky, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Erin Woo, MEd
Assistant Director of Mindfulness in Education