Acclaim for Stress Resilience Conference

As a capstone to our Summer Learning Institute, about 150 attendees came together for our Stress Resilience Conference in Oakland two weeks ago. The audience was actively engaged in conversation with compelling speakers, as they presented multiple perspectives on the need for stress resilience in education, health, violence prevention and more. One participant, a mental health professional, said, "I have attended many conferences over the years; this was the very best!"

Gabor Maté, renowned author and mind-body physician, opened the conference with a discussion on early childhood adversity and its pervasive impact on our lives, and pointed to mindfulness as an optimal approach to foster resilience.

Next, Antwan Wilson, Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, stressed the importance of addressing the needs of the whole child, including academic, social and emotional learning.

This led right into Jennifer Frank's, PhD presentation of her compelling research results of Dynamic Mindfulness, and the implications of the findings from multiple studies that she has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences.

The afternoon began with a conversation between Professor Lynette Lee and David Muhammad, Vice President of Impact Justice. Both stressed the importance of an integral and holistic approach to criminal justice, which will help us move from over-incarceration, through rehabilitation, to trauma-informed community development. This includes Dynamic Mindfulness training for the formal agents (Police Officers, Probation and Sheriff's Department staff) within the Criminal Justice system.

Mental health experts Antonia Fokken, LMFT and Ilene Yasemsky, LCSW discussed the neuroscience of trauma and the crucial need for Dynamic Mindfulness practices for our children and youth, as well as those who serve them.

Bidyut Bose, PhD gave the closing keynote, tying these multiple conversational threads together, connecting stress resilience, mindful leadership and organizational excellence. The closing example demonstrated the relevance of stress resilience in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, which involves several social domains embedded in multiple organizational structures.

In case you were not able to attend, the entire conference was recorded, and all presentations will be available on video shortly – stay tuned!