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Under the Baobab Tree: Centering Heritage & Healing in Black Student Leadership Development

May 26, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

May ACMHE webinar

The May 2021 ACMHE Contemplative Education Webinar:

Under the Baobab Tree: Centering Heritage & Healing in Black Student Leadership Development

with Phyllis Jeffers-Coly, CYT

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021
3 – 4:30 pm ET/ 12 – 1:30 pm PT
Live via Zoom (registration closes an hour before the event)

  • free for ACMHE members
  • $25 for non-members (join here)
  • free for non-members with an access grant

2pm Update: Registration is now closed

In a passionate and free-spirited expression of Black joy, creativity and resistance, this webinar introduces participants to a healing-centered leadership development approach for Black students that integrates both culture and contemplative practices, or put another way, one where heritage and healing meet (under the baobab tree, of course).

Signifying on the tree of contemplative practices as a frame of reference, the session will outline the specific ways that exploring heritage and history in the context of Senegal’s dynamic and vibrant culture offers Black students the opportunity to experience healing and restoration. With Eating Theibbu Jenn Under the Baobab Tree as a specific cultural frame of reference, we will explore how specific aspects of the students’ experience intersect and overlap with specific contemplative practices in order to understand the ways in which the students experience healing and restoration.

All ACMHE members and all interested in healing-centered education are warmly welcomed to join us!


  • Recognize the transformative nature of culture (history and heritage) as healing resources for Black students.
  • Recognize how culture and contemplative practices intersect and overlap when holding space for Black students to experience healing and restoration.
  • Challenge implicitly biased models with a healing-centered leadership development approach that allows us to center Black students and social justice.  
  • Recognize voices and perspectives of Black healing practitioners who are expanding our conversation on the importance of holding spaces where Black folks can focus on healing, self-care, restoration and resilience without apology.


Phyllis Jeffers-ColyPhyllis Jeffers-Coly (CYT-300-Hour) is the co-founder and co-owner of Diasporic Soul, which she established with her husband, Eddy Coly, in 2016, in order to offer healing-centered heritage travel and leadership development experiences for Black people. Diasporic Soul integrates both culture (SOUL) and contemplative practices, including restorative yoga, rituals and beholding Senegal’s dynamic and vibrant culture. By healing we mean putting the energy, heart and courage back into our bodies with our own culture (SOUL) so that we can continue to transform and dismantle the institutions and relationships that have been causing us harm, injury, misery and trauma. She is the author of the forthcoming book We Got Soul; We Can Heal: Overcoming Racial Trauma Through Leadership, Community and Resilience and co-author of “’They Are Coming to Get Something:’ A Qualitative Study of African American Male Community College Students’  Education Abroad Experience in Senegal, West Africa.”

Phyllis is a proud North Carolina native and graduate of North Carolina Central University.  Her deep passion for students, particularly first gens, is due to her extensive experience in higher ed that includes serving as a full-time community college faculty member and Dean of Enrollment Management at a small public HBCU.


May 26, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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