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South Asian Identity Development and Contemplative Pedagogy: A Journey Reconciling Spirituality, Culture, and Appropriation

July 21, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

July 2021 ACMHE webinar

The July 2021 ACMHE Contemplative Education Webinar

South Asian Identity Development and Contemplative Pedagogy:
A Journey Reconciling Spirituality, Culture, and Appropriation

with Amer F. Ahmed & Bini Sebastian

Wednesday, July 21st, 3 – 4:30pm EDT (12 – 1:30pm PDT)
Live via Zoom ~ Connection info will be shared once registered ~ Registration closes an hour before the event

Free for ACMHE members (join here) / $25 for non-members / non-member access grants available 


Registration Has Closed 


In recent decades, South Asian cultural and spiritual practices have proliferated throughout Western society including in spaces centered on contemplative pedagogy. Interest in Yoga, for example, has translated into ubiquitous engagement often disconnected from its South Asian cultural and spiritual roots. Meanwhile, the roles of South Asians have continuously shifted under colonial influences and an evolving role in modern post-9/11 social justice movements. 

Using personal story, the speakers will discuss their respective journeys navigating South Asian identity development, the influence of colonialism on this process, and how they have navigated contemplative pedagogy work within a broader context of cultural appropriation, racism, and islamophobia. The session will begin with a brief contemplative practice.

This webinar will deepen your understanding of: 

  • Historical context and perspective on how systems of oppression impact South Asian identity
  • Factors that facilitate and strengthen South Asian identity development including experiences at the intersection of race and spirituality
  • Insight into the lived experiences of South Asians as they navigate contemplative pedagogy
  • Role of whiteness and cultural appropriation as related to yoga and other South Asian cultural and spiritual practices
Amer Ahmed Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D. is the Founder and CEO of AFA Diversity Consulting, LLC, a consulting practice dedicated to enhancing the development of organizations through leadership, professional development, assessment, and strategic change. In addition, he currently serves as interim Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Director of Equity and Inclusivity at Dickinson College. He is the host of “The Eclectic Inclusion Podcast”, and has been featured in media such as MSNBC, documentary film, and other national press outlets.
Bini Sebastian Bini Sebastian is a PhD candidate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on mindfulness-based practices, identity development, and critical consciousness. She hopes to empower students with tools to cultivate self-awareness and promote holistic healing.


July 21, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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