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“Oh Freedom!”: Buddhist, Christian, and African-American Liberation

Online Program
Dates: Aug 07, 2022

Instructor(s): Kaira Jewel Lingo, Melanie L. Harris

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Course Description:

“Oh, freedom, Oh, freedom, Oh freedom over me. And before I’d be a slave, I’d be buried in my grave, And go home to my Lord and be free.” 

           African American spiritual

African American social protest songs, Buddhist traditions, and Christian mysticism all offer a path and express a longing for liberation. Kaira Jewel Lingo and Melanie Harris are both deeply informed by all three traditions. Join us for this conversation that explores engaged Buddhism, African American social protest songs, and Christian mysticism, and the importance of contemplative mindfulness practices that support us in touching freedom, coming home to ourselves, and deepening ancestral rootedness. This offering is open to everyone.

    About the Instructor(s):
  • Kaira Jewel Lingo began practicing mindfulness in 1997 and teaches Buddhist meditation, secular mindfulness, and compassion internationally. After living as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community, Kaira Jewel teaches in the Zen lineage and the Vipassana tradition, at the intersection of racial, climate and social justice with a focus on activists, Black/Indigenous/People of Color, artists, educators, families, and youth. Now based in New York, she offers spiritual mentoring to individuals and groups. She is author of the forthcoming We Were Made for These Times: Skilfully Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption (Parallax, November 2, 2021)

  • Dr. Melanie L. Harris is Founding Director of African American and Africana Studies and full Professor of Religion and Ethics at TCU. A graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program, she is an educator and community leader whose passion is linked to a commitment to social justice.  Dr. Harris is also a Womanist scholar of Religious Studies. Her research engages Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, Critical Race Theory, Religion and Environmental Ethics. Melanie has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for many years, and integrates this work into her life as a Christian clergy leader, retreat guide, and yoga instructor.