Biography

Rhonda V. Magee (M.A. Sociology, J.D.) is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law and social change work. A prolific author, she draws on law and legal history to weave storytelling, poetry, analysis and practices into inspiration for changing how we think, act and live better together in a rapidly changing world.

Born in North Carolina in 1967, Rhonda experienced a childhood of significant trauma and challenge. Yet, she was gifted with the insight that through a life of caring engagement, self-development, and service with others, she could find a way up and out. She has dedicated her life to healing and teaching in ways that support others in a journey to wholeness and justice. A student of a variety of Buddhist and other wisdom teachers, including Norman Fischer, Joan Halifax and Jon Kabat Zinn, she trained as a mindfulness teacher through the Oasis Teacher Training Institute of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. She teaches mindfulness-based interventions, awareness, and compassion practices from a range of traditions. A former President of the board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Professor Magee is a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, where she recently completed a two-year term on its steering council. She is a member of the board of advisors of the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness and the board of directors for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

A professor of Law for twenty years (tenured since 2004), Rhonda teaches courses dealing civil actions for personal injury and insurance recovery; courses dealing with race and inequality; and a course she co-created on mindfulness and lawyering, Rhonda is experienced in interpersonal dynamics-informed small group facilitation (supported by training, retreats, and practice through a variety of programs, including Stanford University’s Interpersonal Dynamics Facilitator Program and Gregory Kramer’s Insight Dialogue). Rhonda’s teaching and writing support compassionate conflict engagement and management; holistic problem-solving to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable and injured; presence-based leadership in a diverse world, and humanizing approaches to education. She sees embodied mindfulness meditation and the allied disciplines of study and community engagement as keys to personal, interpersonal, and collective transformation in the face of the challenges and opportunities of our time.

Rhonda has served as a guest teacher in a variety of mindfulness teacher training programs, including those sponsored by the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (2017, 2018), led by Diana Winston, the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, led by Fleet Maull (2017, 2018), and the Center for Mindfulness (2017), led by Saki Santorelli and Judson Brewer. She serves as daylong or retreat co-leader and solo teacher at centers including Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Garrison Institute, the Shambhala Mountain Center, the Omega Institute, Esalen and New York Insight Meditation Center.

Rhonda is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on mindfulness in legal education, and on teaching about race using mindfulness, including “Educating Lawyers to Meditate?” 79 UMKC L. Rev. 535 (2011), “The Way of ColorInsight: Understanding Race and Law Effectively Using Mindfulness-Based ColorInsight Practices”, 8 Georgetown J. of Mod. Crit. Race Perspectives 251 (2016), “Teaching Mindfulness with Mindfulness of Diversity,” in McCown et al, Resources for Teaching Mindfulness: An International Handbook (Springer, 2017), and “Community Engaged Mindfulness and Social Justice: An Inquiry and Call to Action”, in Purser et al., Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (2017).

Her first book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness, will be published in September 2019 by TarcherPerigee, a member of the Penguin Random House Group. Order your copy now.

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