Practicing in the service of vulnerable populations.
Since our founding, Copper Beech Institute has been committed to sharing evidence-based, life-saving resilience and mindfulness skills with some of the bravest and most vulnerable members of our community. Such individuals and groups include veterans, the homeless, survivors of trauma, youth of color, the incarcerated, people in recovery from addiction, and the frontline professionals who support them.
In the past year, our mindfulness teachers have been honored to witness the courage of nearly 4,000 recipients of social services and professionals who serve them, helping them transform challenges into growth, strength, and service through mindfulness practice. Each week, our teachers:
• Inspire survivors of abuse and domestic violence to heal and transform their trauma, helping them take courageous steps towards a new and better future;
• Help teens from historically marginalized communities heal from systemic oppression, invest in themselves, and develop the ability to thrive and stay healthy;
• Share evidence-based practices with veterans so they can heal from the traumas of war;
• Create a safe and compassionate place for the homeless to gather and find support;
• Prepare incarcerated men for reentry into our communities by guiding them in practices of healthy decision-making and compassionate action.
In addition to helping people meet their immediate needs through our outreach initiatives, we also work to equip those who serve vulnerable populations with the skills necessary to be agents of healing through our Transformative Leadership Program for workplace professionals. Through the creation of a comprehensive curriculum and various platforms for offering our resiliency teachings, this past year we worked with nearly 1,500 individuals from forty organizations who are working on the front lines of social service industries; they, in turn, have helped thousands of community members build fuller lives within and beyond Connecticut.
We also help transform and heal the very conditions that cause suffering in our communities by dovetailing our outreach to vulnerable populations with diversity, equity, and inclusion work, which challenges various systems of injustice that influence our society. We seek to create a sanctuary of loving kindness and compassion that uplifts and supports people of historically marginalized identities and assists others in becoming effective allies in the work of liberation and social healing. For more information about these initiatives, please read our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement and look into our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship Fund.
To learn more about how you can partner with us to support this healing work in our community, contact executive director, Brandon Nappi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback from Our Partners
“You are helping us to bring a huge change to the whole institution. Powerful!”
- St. Francis Hospital Staff Member
“Being in jail this time was the best thing that ever happened to me because, for the first time in my life, I am finally developing the tools to not have to come back to jail thanks to Copper Beech Institute.”
- Inmate, Hartford Correctional Center
“My favorite part was being able to open up and find myself through my trauma. I learned how to be myself and that my trauma doesn’t make me who I am.”
- Trauma Survivor, McCall Center
“This program has become one of our most successful and desired programs I’ve ever seen working in Corrections, especially in a jail setting. The instructors are fabulous - always on time, always call in case they can’t make it, and extremely professional. They have modified the program with time to assist staff.”
- Staff member, Hartford Correctional Center
“I have learned how to love myself and how to develop coping skills.”
- Community Partners in Action
Testimonials from Our Teachers
“In spring 2017, I had the privilege of beginning this journey of learning and teaching and connecting thanks to Copper Beech Institute's mission of "compassionate action" in the service of vulnerable populations. I began serving individuals I might never have been able to practice with otherwise, and who might not have had access to mindfulness practices in their lives due to the challenges of their economic conditions, geographical locations, mental health, and other factors. To be able to practice with people from all walks of life and learn more about our capacity to heal, grow, learn, and support each other is something that has been so big in my life. As a practitioner and teacher-in-outreach, this work expands my awareness and capacity for curiosity, trauma-informed practices, and feeling truly of service.”
- Sandrine Harris, Copper Beech Institute outreach-teacher
"Having the privilege to be welcomed into Hartford Correctional Center each week for the last four and a half years has offered me incredible insight into the resilience and capacity for transformation of folks so deeply caught in patterns of violence, addiction, shame, or blame. To hold space and witness some of the revelations and commitments to change that these men have chosen to engage with is one of the greatest honors of my teaching career thus far. The trust they afford me and the willingness that some of them show to try something they've never tried before is a gift I can never repay."
- Miranda Chapman, Copper Beech Institute outreach-teacher