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The Urban Mindfulness Foundation CIC

Where we embrace our differences and connect with our common humanity

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Welcome to
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation
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A Mindful Community Interest Company Based in Newham East London that is committed to embracing our differences and connecting through our common humanity.

The Urban Mindfulness Foundation aspires to be a leading and influential provider of social mindfulness teacher training that widens access for marginalised, underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Through this work, we are also committed to sharing a socially and culturally sensitive mindfulness practice that deepens relationality. The aim is to foster individual and collective resilience, wellness, and a sense of solidarity that promotes healing from the various identity-based harms such as racism, classism, and sexism as examples.

As we may know, these ‘isms’ can often result in harmful beliefs leading to discrimination and prejudices that are recognised as hate in UK Law.
To help address this, the Urban Mindfulness Foundation offer structured educational mindfulness and compassion-based trainings delivered through a social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens that we call JEDI work.

Additionally, we provide this online community of practice website and platform to build connections between people who are interested in the intersection of mindfulness, racial and social justice, health, wellbeing and environmental sustainability that is rooted in spirituality and solidarity so neccesary for these divsive times.

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What else do we do?

The Urban Mindfulness Foundation also provides training to existing mindfulness teachers and organisations wishing to enhance their skills and knowledge in creating inclusive and accountable mindfulness classrooms and spaces.

We consider this work to be crucial if we are to collectively promote and stimulate wider engagement across the field and the deepening of mindfulness practice through an anti-oppressive lens that allows for the social, cultural, and collective factors and determinants of health to be addressed collaboratively.

Through a provision of culturally informed and sensitive mindfulness trainings to grassroots communities and mindfulness teachers, we provide structured routes into authentic social mindfulness practice, training, and teaching.

Also, by uplifting and promoting cultural competencies, engagement, and support within the field that includes the voices of marginalized communities.
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation brings together diverse lived experience thorugh an online commmunity and network of existing mindfulness teachers, practitioners and organisations to foster a modern view of what an inclusive mindfulness culture looks like and how such a cultural can influence positive social change.

This means that whilst we centre the black African, Carribean, Asian and people of colour community, we are just as committed to supporting the wider population and field of mindfulness teachers, practitioners and training organisations whatever their origin, culture, ethnicity, faiths or beliefs etc.

We consider the work we do to be essential for all mindfulness teachers regardless of your identity. Especially if there is a wish to ensure your teaching practices are rooted in social justice and our collective social flourishing.

Growing our connections

Fully committed to 'JEDI' Work
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“JEDI” stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and it is at the heart of everything we do!

As JEDI Warriors, it is important to note that inclusion is not just about identifying where exclusion and inclusion occur. As JEDI Warriors, we strive to actively promote happiness, joy, resilience, and stability by acknowledging and celebrating the beauty, wisdom, and importance of social, cultural, physical, and cognitive diversity.

This explicitly includes the diversity of individuals from African, Caribbean, Asian, Indigenous, and Global Majority heritages, who hold essential knowlege and wisdom required for our collective and long-term co-existence.

Unfortunately, we know these diverse heritages have been largely absent from the mindfulness classroom until now, and it is this that the Urban Mindfulness Foundation is committed to introducing as a mechanism for building an inclusive mindfulness culture that enriches the lived experience of UK life and wider society.

As JEDI warriors, we are also committed to following four key guiding JEDI contemplations as offered by W.E.B Dubois to facilitate change from the inside out. These include:

How does our integrity meet oppression?

How does our honesty meet deceptions?

How does our decency meet insult?

How does virtue meet brute force?

When addressing identity based harms, these contemplations provide important insight into the core values of a JEDI warrior and what it means to be mindful, balanced and aware in the world. 

Additionally, as JEDI warriors, we also spend the time to understand what it is that we are being included in, and what we ourselves are willing to include, exclude, create, and or co-create together for the betterment of humanity.

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We call the work we do JEDI Work and the people doing the work JEDI Warriors!

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What’s unique about The Urban Mindfulness Foundation?

The Urban Mindfulness Foundation have an award winning, field recognised programme, that is built and designed by and for the African, Caribbean, Asian and People of Colour Community as well as the wider mindfulness teaching community to uplift cultural competency and build the solidarity needed for mindfulness to flourish socially.

The Urban Mindfulness Foundation is an organisation that focuses on building mindfulness, compassion, insight, and wisdom through the maturation of a social mindfulness practice.

The organisation is founded and led by people of black, African, Caribbean and Asian descent, with a unique blend of cultural knowledge and wisdom from the global majority traditions. The Urban Mindfulness Foundation also uniquely integrate Western education, culture, meditation, contemplation, and reflective practices in a way that welcomes all faith traditions and none to what is an inclusive, socially engaged secular mindfulness practice. 

Therefore, the offerings from the UMF provide a uniquely inclusive vision of mindfulness that acknowledges the reality of our social and cultural differences and traditions and, therefore, the differences and nuances in expressions of mindfulness that represent its diverse beauty.

This unique perspective of mindfulness from the UMF is rooted in a blend of knowledge, wisdom, and practices aimed to develop a socially and culturally informed mindfulness practitioner that is rooted in compassionately equitable social actions that transpire from each person uniquely as their deepest sense of agency and purpose arises from within.

The Urban Mindfulness Foundations approach builds upon the standard mindfulness training by maturing them in ways that meet wider audiences who suffer the weight of oppression and marginalisation. 

Whilst traditional training has been and continues to be successful in addressing individual mental health concerns, our work is focused on community health and social wellness that gives space to recognise the social determinants of health and the awareness of how we might address them collectively.

Ultimately, the UMF seek to provide a more holistic, preventative social mindfulness practice that promotes health and well-being through collective inner and outer change and transformation.

Having created, delivered and researched our very own Mindfulness-Based Inclusion Training Program called (MBIT) or My-BIT, we introduce the subjects of equity, diversity and inclusion utilising mindfulness practice in key social and public sector contexts, including the Health Care and Criminal Justice System, The Educational System, The Workplace and Community Settings.

Why not come along to one of our drop-in sessions to experience the work we do for yourself? Or read some of our testimonials here and check out the Members Dashboard and activity feed here or sign up to engage with the online community.

Our Mindfulness Based Inclusion Training (MBIT)

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We have developed the first Mindfulness-Based Inclusion Training programme in the UK that is specifically designed to address justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the field and wider society.

This award-winning programme is designed to enrich our relationships and sense of connection through deepening our social, cultural and emotional understanding.

The MBIT training programme was awarded for its innovation as part of the 2022 Mindfulness Innovations Awards from the Mindfulness Initiative and Hart Knowe Trust due to its creativity in meeting real world needs. MBIT consists of a unique blend of educational-based mindfulness training designed for beginners, experienced mindfulness teachers, practitioners and Organisations serious about addressing the equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion gaps in society and in the field.

The MBIT programme draws on both traditional and somatic techniques of learning and experiencing that shift the historical traumas of identity-based harm in a way that invites change through deeper social and cultural intelligence.

By inviting the subjects of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion into our contemplations and reflections, we invite new and embodied insights into how our social and cultural conditioning distorts how we see ourselves and each other. Ultimately, MBIT is about developing wise discernment, critical thinking and the maturation of compassionate and courageous beings willing to act from this embodied space of awareness.

Click HERE for more detailed info on the MBIT programme.


What do previous participants say about our work?

THE BIG UP YOUR CHESS YOUNG ADULTS MINDFULNESS PROJECT HAS ARRIVED

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APPLY NOW

Free scholarships are now available to join this unique and culturally informed mindfulness-based community health and wellbeing programme for 18 to 24-year-olds from the Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and people of colour communities. The courses are funded by East London NHS Foundation Trust and offered to promote health, wellbeing and positive social relationships that avoids or reduces the need for statutory health care interventions.

One x 8 week course will be provided to young people living, studying or working in the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Hackney. 

Together we will learn some mindfulness practices and co-create a mindful piece of art or a creative piece of some kind that we collectively agree we would like to exhibit at the end of the project. The creative piece will relay our journey together and the lived experiences of young people with talent living in these current times. So if you have artistic talents, this is the course for you as you will get the opportunity for that talent to be expressed, recognised, acknowledged and of course shine!    

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The Big Up Your CHESS programme for young adults uses a play on the cultural phrase “Big up your chest” replacing the word chest with the acronym CHESS, which stands for:

C – Choosing
H – Health
E – Education and
S – Strategic
S – Solidarity 

This project is fully funded and supported by:

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Courses Start

13th January 2024 

Location TBC

The Big Up Your CHESS project is designed to communicate an important positive message about all young people who actively choose health, education and strategic solidarity for both personal and collective wellness. The project includes a fully funded face-to-face course for young people aged 18 to 24 from the Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and people of colour communities for each of the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Not only are the courses FREE, but each person will receive a certificate and small reward on completion of the course. We hope to also include some mindful activities such as roller skating, ice skating, kick boxing and self defence, cinema and bowling for example although exact activities will be chosen by each group.  The courses are funded by the East London (NHS) Foundation Trust (ELFT) with the support of Compass Wellbeing. They will be delivered and co-designed by the Urban Mindfulness Foundation, a mindfulness innovations award winner in the provision of culturally relevant mindfulness for black African Caribbean Asian and people of colour communities interested in collective health and community wellbeing that is rooted in social justice.

For more information check out the project page here

.CALLING ALL SPONSORS:  

If you would like to support this project and donate: a venue or space, snacks, merchandise, studio time, videography time, guest speakers etc in the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, or Hackney we would love to hear from you so please get in touch at unity@urbanmindfulnessfoundation.co.uk

We’re published… and trending!
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for our time: A curriculum that is up to the task.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine and a resource document to help Mindfulness teachers ensure Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction fits our current time and is a curriculum that is up to the task!

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You can download the published article here and the resource paper here.

Free Drop in sessions
for Black, African, Caribbean, Asian, and People of Colour
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Free Online BAPOC-only Sessions 
Every last Monday evening of the month 
7.30 pm to 8.45 pm

This is an online BAPOC-only community solidarity gathering and practice session for people aged 18+, all existing MBIT alumni, and the wider BAPOC community across Newham, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets who are from the black, African, Caribbean, Asian, indeginous and people of colour community. The sessions will offer an intergenerational opportunity to engage with formal mindfulness practice to help settle the nervous system, release trauma, and ground the mind and body in the present moment as a process of creating the conditions for new insights relating to our personal and collective healing and flourishing to arise naturally. 

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Free in person  BAPOC-only Sessions 
Every last Saturday morning of the month 
11.00 am to 1 pm

Arrive when you can, leave when you must

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Each in person session will also include a formal mindfulness practice to help settle the nervous system, release trauma, and ground the mind and body in the present moment as a process of creating the conditions for new insights relating to our personal and collective healing and flourishing to arise naturally.

Free drop-in sessions
where everyone is welcome
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Online Sessions
Every last Monday evening of the month
6.00 pm to 7.15 pm

These online sessions are also designed to develop an understanding of a bigger sense of self and belonging to a wider mindful community of practice that spans generations, demographic, cultural, ethnic, and racial groups to represent and embody our deep and truly interconnected nature.

In Person  Sessions
Every last Saturday of the month
1.30 pm to 2.30 pm

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In this multiculturally aware inclusive space of mindfulness, we will together explore what working cross-culturally and with other social justice allies from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors might look like. These sessions will include a full mindfulness meditation practice and some time for mindful dialogue on what true allyship and solidarity might look and feel like in the current climate of sepertation and disvision.

Drastic times require DRASIC measures – A successful 2022 project that now informs all the work we do!

> PROJECT DRASIC <

All of our drop-in sessions are currently fully funded and offered freely.

However, we do welcome any donations from those who can afford it. A donation of £3 to £5 per session is suggested to help us continue offering our services for free to those who can’t afford to access mindfulness training.

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Alternatively, please donate whatever you can, whenever you can, using the link below!

Support Our Cause

Help our organisation by donating today! All donations go directly to making a difference for our cause.

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You can also make a donation using Paypal
The Urban Mindfulness Foundation is passionate about the well-being of everyone in our community. However, to have maximum impact, we need your help to ensure our programs remain freely available to those from underserved, underrepresented, or disadvantaged backgrounds who might not normally be able to access such training due to financial constraints.

So please help us to keep our service accessible and free to those who are unable to afford mindfulness or self-development training elsewhere.

Every donation makes a vital diffeerence to our work continuing so please donate what you can or wish and follow the suggested donations of £3 to 5 per session where possible. blank