Description of Organization
Inward Bound Mindfulness Education is a nonprofit that offers in-depth mindfulness programming for teens, young adults, and the parents- and youth-serving professionals who support them. The programming guides teens and young adults in developing self-awareness, compassion, and ethical decision making, and empowers them to apply these skills in improving their lives and communities. Adolescence presents unique vulnerabilities and opportunities that make training in mindfulness and compassion at this life stage particularly important and transformative. Learning these skills as a teen can have lifelong, positive impacts that ripple out through families, schools, and beyond.
In 2022, a qrant in the amount of $20,000 was given to make mindfulness accessible to a diversity of youth beyond the white, middle/upper class, able-bodied communities where the practice of mindfulness has been insulated for so long. iBme has committed to creating accessible and appropriate programming so that youth of all races, genders, socioeconomic classes, abilities, religions, and ethnicities can benefit from mindfulness practices.
This program supports the acceleration of more BIPOC leaders into iBme teaching roles so that iBme can fully serve the increasing diversity of teens in its programs. iBme’s plan is two-fold.
First, iBme will grow a BIPOC scholarship fund for its year-long teacher training program (https://ibme.com/mindfulness-teacher-training/), which is its primary channel for recruiting new teachers. This esteemed program is the only youth education-focused program accredited by the International Mindfulness Teacher’s Association.
Second, iBme will grow a fund to provide equitable stipends to qualified BIPOC teachers who are observing and/or assistant teaching on retreat. Historically, these positions have been either on a volunteer basis or severely under-compensated, which creates a huge barrier for many would-be teachers. Stipends will be awarded to BIPOC teachers who recently graduated from the teacher training program or those with extensive professional experience that are new to iBme’s model. Once completed, BIPOC teachers will then meet all requirements to join the iBme faculty and teach at future iBme retreats.
In 2021, a special COVID-19 Operational Grant of $10,000 was awarded to Inward Bound Mindfulness Education to support staff stipends, increased regional marketing and website/zoom upgrades. Due to the impact of COVID-19, iBme’ s organizational system and financial model was affected. The response to the pandemic focused on being responsive to the evolving needs of teens. iBme quickly transitioned their residential retreats to an online format, adding new offerings, and increasing the focus on teens’ families. They created a Zoom guide of features and best practices, held planning and development meetings with faculty, adapted their website and marketing, and designed an online retreat manual. Teachers focused on anxiety and depression-producing topics such as social media and news overconsumption, fears about the virus, and the loss of key life events. Throughout the spring and summer, their originally scheduled 11 in-person retreats transitioned into several online programs including retreats, classes, workshops, and new multi-week courses so that participants could have several touchpoints throughout the spring and summer versus just one in-person retreat.
In 2019, A grant was awarded for $7,500 for scholarships for Inward Bound’s Teens of Color Retreat. Each day, teens will participate in approximately 4 hours of meditation, including sitting meditation (both silent and guided), walking meditation, and mindful movement. Kindness meditation is also taught each day, which cultivates self-compassion and compassion for others, and supports emotional resilience. Relational mindfulness practices, such as deep listening and speaking authentically, are also central to the retreat format.