The Inner Work of Racial Justice

Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness

An essential mindfulness and compassion-based approach to confront racial injustice and work towards healing.

AMAZON BARNES&NOBLE INDIEBOUND

Law professor and mindfulness practitioner Rhonda Magee shows that the work of racial justice begins with ourselves. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. The practice of embodied mindfulness–paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way–increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and gives us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice.

For victims of injustice, embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. Magee shows us how to slow down and reflect on microaggressions–to hold them with some objectivity and distance–rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time. She helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division.

It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. Incorporating mindfulness exercises, research, and Magee’s hard-won insights, The Inner Work of Racial Justice offers a road map to a more peaceful world.

The Inner Work of Racial Justice

“How can we begin to explore, understand, and finally, undo the painful injustice of racism that is so deeply embedded in us? Illuminated by her work in meditation and mindfulness practice, Rhonda Magee has spent her life considering this question. Her knowledge, wisdom, sensitivity, and compassion shine through every page of The Inner Work of Racial Justice. This book should be read slowly and carefully by everyone. Do its exercises, ponder its nuances. Take it to heart—you can’t afford not to.”

—Norman Fischer, founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation

“With warmth, knowledge, and personal storytelling, Rhonda Magee offers us a path to look into the painful truths of structural racial oppression with mindfulness and compassion, which provides the necessary emotional grounding to skillfully work through the pain to generate new solutions through authentic connections to more communities. It may take generations to undo the harms of systemic racial oppression, but with this revolutionary book, Rhonda brings us many generations closer.”

—Helen Weng, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco

“A powerful and important book on how to apply mindfulness to address racial, social, and economic divisions in a way that nurtures individual and group healing and integration. Rhonda Magee models the compassion, courage, and wisdom needed to understand, examine, and deconstruct very painful manifestations of racism in our society.”

—Due Quach, author of Calm Clarity