Disrupting Systemic Whiteness in the Mindfulness Movement

A Q&A with Dr. Angela Rose Black on the omission of the voices and wisdom of people of color in mindfulness research, teaching, and practice.

Dr. Angela Rose Black is the Founder of Mindfulness for the PeopleTM LLC, a Black-owned social change agency that is radically re-imagining the mindfulness movement. (photo credit: Duke Virginia)

Dr. Angela Rose Black is an activist, scholar, practitioner, and thought leader in the mindfulness movement. She is also the Founder and CEO of Mindfulness for the People LLC—a Black-owned social change agency that offers oppression-sensitive and culturally-responsive mindfulness trainings engaging Racial Battle Fatigue among People of Color and White Fragility among White people. We asked her to share her journey with us in this a Mindful Q &A.

Mindful: Can you share a bit about your journey and what brought you to mindfulness?
Dr. Angela Rose Black: I spent over 15 years in academia as a health disparities scholar. My research focused on Black women’s stress-health pathways, identifying what kinds of life experiences produce compromised health outcomes, but also, what elements of our lives promote resilience. The irony of my research life was that across many “real time” data points—as a graduate student, postdoc, and tenure-track professor—I was presenting on and researching the intersection of Black women’s health and stress while being incredibly stressed and unwell myself. Something about that didn’t feel right. Why was I traveling all over the country, educating audiences on disparities in Black women’s health outcomes, when—behind closed doors—I knew I wasn’t…