44 Days Honoring Black History: "Telling Our Own Stories"

This SMC Library Research Guide is a collection of resources related to Black History. The Research Guide has been created to accompany the SMC Black Lives Matter Subcommittee's 2021 44 Days: Honoring Black History.

Talk Description

On Feb. 17, Dr. Zahra Ahmed will present "Leading from the Inside Out: Contemplative Justice as Radical Self-care for BIPOC Activists."

This talk will focus on my recent research on the contemplative justice movement. I will discuss my findings from interviews with BIPOC activists participating in the Practice in Transformative Action (PiTA) program in Oakland, California. I utilize a Black feminist power analysis to interpret the theories of social change offered by these activists to speak to the utility of contemplative practice to serve as a form of radical self-care which supports the activists and their work for social justice.

Suggested Resources

Speaker Bio

Dr. Zahra Ahmed is a scholar-activist who has worked in higher education and other community-based educational spaces for over 20 years. Zahra earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Georgia State University with a focus on community partnerships and her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine with a focus on civic and community engagement. She is also a proud undergraduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She specializes in policy advocacy, civic engagement and community organizing.

Zahra currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Politics at Saint Mary's College of California where she integrates restorative justice and contemplative practices into her teaching as a means of supporting the mission of social justice movement building. Her research includes social movement organizing, the contemplative justice movement and pedagogical practices that support political mobilization among students and people of color. She teaches courses situated at the intersections of American and minority politics. In her free time, she loves the beach, reading, running, and finding new music.

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