Sebene Selassie

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SUMMIT SESSIONS

Sebene Selassie

Race, Unconscious Bias & Mindfulness

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What You'll Learn

  • Learn how to identify what unconscious bias is, how it manifests, and how it creates disparities in healthcare

  • Explore how to unlearn racial bias from the inside out using mindfulness and awareness

  • Reflect on your own understanding of race with a guided self inquiry practice

About Sebene Selassie

Sebene Selassie is a teacher, author and speaker who began studying Buddhism 30 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. She has been teaching classes, workshops and retreats for the past decade. Sebene is a three-time cancer survivor of Stage III and IV breast cancer. Her first book is You Belong: A Call for Connection (HarperOne). You can learn more about her work on her website and connect with her on Instagram.

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15 Comments

  1. Rishma Ladha October 6, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you very much! Very powerful inspiring and most important your calm voice and smile during checking in was amazing to practice mindfulness and reflect on the present moment. I was very sad to know the facts and some of the darkest truth of our social structures that continues to create health disparities. We lack empathy curiosity and engagement when it comes to race. Sharing of personal story is a lived experience that we all can learn and grow from. Thank you for planting a seed to further explore my own unconscious bias by developing a mindful practice.

  2. Rishma Ladha October 6, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you very much! Very powerful inspiring and most important your calm voice and smile during checking in was amazing to practice mindfulness and reflect on the present moment. I was very deeply sad to know the facts and some of the darkest truth of our social structures that has and continues to create health disparities. We lack empathy curiosity and engagement when it comes to race. Sharing of personal story is a lived experience that we all can learn from. Certainly a seed is planted to explore my own unconscious bias by developing a mindful practice.

  3. Rob JONES October 6, 2020 at 5:46 am

    I found this so, so engaging, intellectually interesting and also rather overwhelming.
    Agreed the disparities in health care treatment – and the attitudinal biases – are shocking.

    I remain concerned that ‘unconscious’ bias has become a convenient shield behind which some people of privilege might hide. As professionals we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to know that our culture and upbringing may have conditioned us a certain way but we have the power and ability to change that. We have the same power and ability to deconstruct those prejudices we might hold as the early slave-traders did to denote black Africans as a different “race”.

    Thank you so much Sebene

  4. Arthie Maharaj October 6, 2020 at 4:20 am

    Thank you dear Sebene. I was spell bound, moved and inspired by your gentle and powerful presentation. I was in tears at several points thinking of the accumulation of intergenerational pain and suffering experienced by people of colour. The invitations to check in with ourselves was effectively revealing. You spoke of such painful realities without any trace of bitterness or anger. I noticed feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem of racism and feeling hopeless about how we could contribute in any meaningful way. And you demonstrated with remarkable poise and gentleness how this is possible. Sending you blessings

  5. iva ilic October 5, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you so much for beautiful and illuminating talk… ❤️

  6. Kanchi October 5, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you for a very moving talk about a very charged topic. You delivered it so gently yet powerfully.

  7. Martina Lavrisha October 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for your excellent presentation. I am deeply grateful for sharing your perspective and experiences. May we all grow lotuses from the mud that surrounds us as we reflect on our collective bond as humans.

  8. Ike Nnene October 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you Sebene for your splendid expose on racial issues in healthcare and the role of unconscious bias. You demonstrated very well how mindfulness can be of immense benefit in realisation of how we can free ourselves from the inbuilt prejudice that affects us all.

  9. Sharon Greenlee October 5, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Your words and your calming presence allows me to move into a deeper exploration of my unconscious biases.
    Thank you so much…

  10. Ellen Katzman October 5, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    I learned so much from your inspiring talk. I thank you for your eloquence. Now I shall go back to reading your book.

  11. Judy October 5, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Hearing your talk is the first time I am feeling hopeful that humanity will move forward meaningfully and mindfully in understanding and addressing racism and equity.

  12. Yubaraj Adhikari October 5, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I admired your soft, eloquent, and heart touching presentation. Enormous gratitude from the bottom of my heart. Your bitter but powerful encounters in terms of subconscious bias on the day to day life have enormously touched upon me. A most difficult topic in this world, that exists since centuries were shared by you in such a way that everyone can reflect upon and think twice before behaving or acting on such situations. I wish every best for your good health and equally for your sister. Humanity is only be presented when we see each other as human being irrespective of their origin, race, color, gender, and many other so-called walls created by the society, politics, economy, and hierarchies. A truly inspiring presentation, best regards to you Dear Sebene.

  13. Bernadete lopes October 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

    I will , definitely , try to use the mud around me to cultivate beautiful flowers by practicing unconscious bias thru mindfulness . Thank you soo much

  14. Jean Ellis-Sankari October 4, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you so very much. Poignant! and relevant.

  15. Betty Everett October 4, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Hearing the facts about disparities and bias in pain control made me feel so sad.

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