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Strengthening Community: Four Black Men in Conversation During the Dual Pandemics of Structural Racism and COVID-19

September 10, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Strengthening Community: Four Black Men in Conversation During the Dual Pandemics of Structural Racism and COVID-19

Strengthening Community: Four Black Men in Conversation During the Dual Pandemics of Structural Racism and COVID-19

with Marlon BlakeBradford C. GrantLenwood Hayman, and Steven Thurston Oliver
To be broadcast live on Thursday, September 10th, 2020
2 – 3:30 pm ET / 11 – 12:30 pm PT

Free and open to all
$10 suggested donation

Register Here

The heightened societal awareness of the global pandemic of structural racism has generated a lot of discussion about Black men and our relationship to policing; especially now that it is situated within the other global pandemic of COVID-19. Despite data showing our higher susceptibility to both COVID-19 and police-related violence, there has been less focus on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of Black Men. As we consider what we need to effectively continue our work and be the sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers our families, communities, and world need us to be, it is important for us to consider what self-preservation and wholeness look like for Black men. Join us for a rich dialogue between four Black men who are Contemplative Scholar practitioners as we reflect on the challenges and opportunities for the present moment.

Marlon BlakeMarlon Blake currently works as the Associate Director of Nursing Administration at West Coast University. Marlon has spent the last 12 years in higher education, serving in various leadership roles. Marlon’s current research emphasis focuses on how community college faculty members use contemplative pedagogy in the classroom. He is currently researching how these practices can better support community college students and improve academic outcomes. Marlon believes as a community college practitioner that contemplative pedagogy can be implemented in the community college system to better serve students, but especially students of color. Finally, Marlon is the founder of the YouTube channel, the Community for Contemplative Conversations.


Bradford GrantBradford C. Grant is a Full Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture of the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University, Washington DC. He has been in leadership roles at Hampton and Howard Universities as Chairperson, Director, Associate Dean and Interim Dean. As a registered architect and a distinguished educator, he has extensive experience in community design, contemplative practices through drawing in design education and cultural factors in architecture. His community design work, research on the role of African American architects and his teachings on “Drawing as Meditation” has earned him the Virginia Downtown Development Association Award, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award, the AIA Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Contemplative Practice fellowship.

Grant has served as past president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Humanities DC, and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (Cmind). He is currently president of the board of the Healthy Building Network (HBN) and is the co-founder of the “Directory of African American Architects,” the first comprehensive survey, analysis and report on the numbers and role of the African American Architect.

Grant completed his graduate degree at the University of California Berkeley and the undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Lenwood HaymanLenwood Hayman is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Health Sciences in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. His work focuses on using contemplative practices to cultivate community cohesion as a means of health promotion.



Steven Thurston OliverSteven Thurston Oliver is an associate professor of secondary and higher education at Salem State University. Steven is a sociologist of education whose research is focused on the ways in which contemplative pedagogy can be used as a catalyst in K-12 teacher preparation and higher education programs for cultivating greater capacity among educators to engage across human differences.


September 10, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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