Peace and Social Justice
the Peace of Mind Program
PEACE OF MIND STANDS FOR PEACE, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY
“Practicing mindfulness is critically important on our racial reckoning journey. Mindfulness teaches us to step back and think about our own biases. We all have biases, it’s natural for human beings. What I love about this curriculum is that it doesn’t make us feel shame or guilt. It says, we recognize that we might have these biases, now what will we do? “Now what will we do?” Is the most important part of the journey to becoming a person who is more empathetic, more compassionate and who is ready to tackle this issue of injustice in our own lives. This is something that Peace of Mind is doing and I fully support it. ”
– Connie K. N. Chang, Peace of Mind Supporter
What Peace of Mind Offers
Our mission is to equip students with mindfulness, brain science, conflict-resolution and social justice skills to both enhance their own well-being and become peacemakers in their communities. A critical aspect of that work is helping students in Grades 3-8 begin to mindfully and compassionately explore and decide how they personally want to address challenging issues such as bullying, race and racism, and injustice.
In the early grades, Peace of Mind’s Curriculum teaches students to notice and manage their emotions, understand the related brain science, build healthy relationships, and solve conflicts peacefully. In older grades, students use these skills to notice their thoughts and to decide which ones fit their values and which ones don’t.
Why We Believe This Work is Important
Research shows that children as young as 3 years old can begin to “associate some racial groups with negative traits.” By four years old, “children in the U.S. associate whites with wealth and higher status.” Thoughtful conversations about bias, discrimination, racism and injustice help kids learn empathy, build life skills, and understand inequality in society today as they develop skills to address problems in the future. Understanding the ways in which racism and other forms of bias hold all of us back – and being able to engage in the world with curiosity, understanding, and inclusion — is essential for students to be successful as engaged citizens in a global economy.
Peace of Mind seeks to acknowledge and celebrate differences between students and teach them in a manner that respects and embraces their life experiences and backgrounds.
We believe that all of us – students, parents, and educators – have a role to play to create learning environments and communities that will allow all of our children to thrive and for our nation to do the same
Peace of Mind’s Social Justice Lesson Supplement for Grades 3-5, the final unit of The Peace of Mind Curriculum for Grades 4 & 5, and the final unit of The Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Middle School help educators teach mindfulness not only as a means to help students calm down, but also as a skill to help them become kind and courageous problem solvers and peacemakers.
Social Justice Lesson Supplement
Core Curriculum for Middle School
In addition to helping students develop skills to help themselves and to become peacemakers, the Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Middle School equips and inspires students to address unkindness and unfairness when they encounter it at school or with friends, and to feel confident in their capacity to contribute to making the world a better place. This curriculum includes challenging, important lessons on noticing and addressing stereotypes, recognizing and addressing implicit bias, understanding and standing up to bullying behavior, and applying all of these skills to making positive social change.
Peace of Mind aims to empower students to increase their own sense of well-being and to change and challenge the world in peaceful and thoughtful ways, including being more aware of stereotypes, bias and other barriers that prevent students from building strong relationships and reaching their full potential.
The Peace of Mind Curriculum teaches students to notice and manage their emotions, understand the related brain science, build healthy relationships, solve conflicts peacefully. Peace of Mind helps older students use these skills to notice their thoughts and biases, and to decide which ones fit with their values, and which ones don’t.
Peace of Mind helps students apply compassion and metacognition practices to explore their own identity, to understand and decide how they personally want to address social justice issues such as racism, bias and stereotypes.
No. Peace of Mind does not tell students what to think, but gives them the tools to understand their brains, notice what they are thinking, and decide whether their thoughts and actions reflect their values. Students develop the skills to make the kind of changes they want to feel in themselves and see in their communities.
- Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Grades 4&5: the final unit helps students apply mindfulness and SEL skills to metacognition (noticing our thoughts and beliefs), fast and slow thinking (a foundation for understanding bias), stereotypes, and standing up to bullying behavior.
- Peace of Mind Social Justice Supplement for Grades 3,4 & 5: a 17 lesson series that helps children apply mindfulness and SEL skills, especially compassion and metacognition practices, to identity, stereotypes, bias and discrimination, racism, and taking action to stand up to injustice.
- Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Middle School: the final unit helps older students apply mindfulness and other life skills, especially compassion and metacognition practices, to explore and more deeply understand identity, stereotypes, bias and discrimination, racism, and taking action to stand up to injustice.
Yes! All student facing materials in Early Childhood to Grade 5 are available in Spanish, as well as our Mindfulness Practice Cards, our large Ways to Practice Mindfulness Poster, and our popular children’s book Rosie’s Brain – El Cerebro de Rosita. As our resources allow, we hope to tranlsate all of our materials into Spanish and many other languages to increase access to all.
Yes, Peace of Mind supports Black Lives Matter and is committed to creating a more just and equitable world.
Haymarket Books (2020, June 23)
Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of Our Schools
“A conversation with Bettina Love, Gholdy Muhammad, Dena Simmons and Brian Jones about abolitionist teaching and antiracist education.”
Nick News (2020, June 29)
Kids, Race, and Unity | Hosted By Alicia Keys
“Hosted by Alicia Keys, Nick News talks with founders and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, offer tools for families to have constructive conversations about race, and highlights teen activists who are fighting racial injustice.”
TED (2019, January)
How to Teach Kids to Talk about Taboo Topics | Liz Kleinrock
TED. (2014, December 15)
Verna Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them.
(2020, June 3)
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
In this video series, former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho’s “sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.”
Vox (2015 January 13)
The Myth of Race
“You may know exactly what race you are, but how would you prove it if somebody disagreed with you? Jenée Desmond Harris explains.”
Articles and Essays
ADL.org (2019, April)
How Should I Talk about Race in my Mostly White Classroom?
Hammond, Zaretta (2015, April 9)
Four Tools for Interrupting Implicit Bias
Landsman, Julie (2016, November)
Helping Students Discuss Race Openly
Madda, Mary Jo (2019)
Dena Simmons: Without Context Social Emotional Learning Can Backfire | EdSurge
McIntosh, Peggy (1990)
White Privilege: Unpacking Invisible Knapsacks | Teaching Tolerance
Simmons, Dena (2019, April).
Why We Can’t Afford Whitewashed Social-Emotional Learning | ASCD Education Update
Simmons, Dena (2017, April 18)
How to Change the Story about Students of Color Dena Simmons explores how educators can inadvertently harm students of color—and what we can do to bring out their best. | Greater Good Magazine
Hammond, Zaretta (2014) Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Corwin
DiAngelo, Robin (2018) White Fragility. Beacon Press