Lessons in...seeing, being, and witnessing


When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom 
by Lauren Cassani Davis
The Atlantic

As we ourselves and our children go back to school, how can we help to ensure that we bring our best selves to our work? What role can mindfulness play in that process? In this article, Davis engages those questions in the context of the fact that "the body of scientific research illustrating the positive effects of mindfulness training on mental health and well-being—at the level of the brain as well as at the level of behavior—grows steadily more well-established." Looking at the history and current status of the recent movement to bring mindfulness into education, Davis takes a critical look at the science and practice of mindfulness in education. What place do you think mindfulness should have in the classroom?

(If you're interested in this topic, check out Marco Odiaga's great article, "Within Silence: The Spirituality of the Classroom", in Anchor.)


Taylor Swift Is Dreaming Of A Very White Africa 
by Viviane Rutabingwa and James Kassaga Arinaitwe

How do current images recreate past injustices? That's one of several questions with which the authors of this article grapple as they call our attention to the place that Taylor Swift's new music video for "Wildest Dreams," shot in Africa and California, takes in the long history of narratives that reinforce the impact of colonialism on the continent of Africa. Rutabingwa and Arinaitwe, incidentally two incredible Global Health Corps alumni, write, "To those of us from the continent who had parents or grandparents who lived through colonialism (and it can be argued in some cases are still living through it), this nostalgia that privileged white people have for colonial Africa is awkwardly confusing to say the least and offensive to say the most."


#Katrina10: In the media

Ten years following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, what's changed in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and what's remained the same? After such significant trauma, what are people's lives like now? Those questions and many more have been asked by many media sources over the past week. Several of these sources stood out to us, helping us to see, hear, and think about the sounds and images of people impacted by Katrina through the lens of justice. Check out this piece in The New York Times, which focuses on images of the New Orleans area. Watch the full video of three Frontline pieces that explore the injustices faced by many in the wake of the hurricane as well as what came after. And listen to stories about the complexities of poverty in the face of disaster and rebuilding on the This American Life podcast. How can we all keep in mind the injustices that continue long after a news-capturing disaster has passed?