Description of Organization
This Collaboration Grant between Inward Bound Mindfulness Education Inc and Brookly Zen Center supported the “Open Mind Youth Initiative,” offering two immersive residential mindfulness meditation retreats for youth ages 16-24, with 15 of the 30 participant slots reserved for teens and young adults of color, with the aim of supporting a new generation of diverse, heart-centered leaders who are prepared to respond to the challenges of our time –including the bridging of racial, cultural, and socio-economic divides – with focus, courage, and resiliency.
In launching the Open Mind Youth Initiative, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) and Brooklyn Zen Center are building upon an existing partnership in order to offer a pair of residential mindfulness meditation experiences for youth ages 16-24 – a three-day retreat in March 2015, followed by a weeklong retreat in July 2015. Both iBme and Brooklyn Zen Center are deeply committed to diversity initiatives, and we will offer these retreats in the spirit of equal access—the goal is to make meditation retreats accessible for teens and young adults who might not have previous experience with in-depth mindfulness practice. For both retreats, 15 of the 30 participants slots will be reserved for teens and young adults of color, but we will also keep our outreach broad so as to include others who do not come from underserved and underrepresented communities. These retreats will bring together young people who might otherwise never have connected within a container of non-judgment, authenticity, and trust. Our intention is to offer an immersive yet accessible meditation retreat experience to a diverse cohort, with a focus on engaging youth from underserved communities. This project is part of a larger vision that our organizations share. With the Open Mind Youth Initiative, the sponsoring organizations aim to support a new generation of diverse, heart-centered leaders who are prepared to respond to the challenges of our time –including the bridging of racial, cultural, and socio-economic divides – with focus, courage, and resiliency.