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A Juneteenth Thank You from our Executive Director

It's amazing what a difference many months make for a newcomer like myself to feel at home in a community, and to be able to offer that warm welcome to other new members as we continue to further the CBI mission of dedicating ourselves to mindfulness practice, compassionate action, and social justice in our interconnected world

At Hartford's Juneteenth celebration this weekend, I felt myself settle in, heartened by the support of longtime CBI participants, as well as new faces recognizing me and CBI from our self-care toolkit, youthwork, retreats, and facilitator certification program (MFC). Community is built one interaction at a time, and we are fortunate to be part of an expanding community in Connecticut, New England, and beyond!

I am sending you a note on Freedom Day (aka Juneteenth). As I reflect on my first nine months, I want to thank each of you who has greeted me and shown me what Copper Beech means to you. I will remember all the ways I was embraced. May we continue to offer this gracious warmth and kindness through our mission, work, service, and practice.

Juneteenth is the celebration of when the news finally spread to all enslaved African Americans that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed and freedom granted. As a racial justice scholar, it has been my contemplative practice in recent years to turn my attention towards reflection prompts, with the attempt to anchor there with questions from Juneteenth through the Fourth of July.

Although in future years we may formalize this reflection time, and add it to the roster of signature events like 14 Days of Love, for now, I invite you to set the intention (and your calendar) to reflect on the following in the coming days:



  • In what ways have I experienced limited freedom, and how might I extend that understanding to the desire for suffering to be reduced?

Beginner's Mind

  • In what ways have I practiced cultural and intellectual Beginner's Mind this year?

  • In what ways have I intentionally placed myself in situations where I may feel uneasiness, yet certain growth?

Seeing Reality

  • What have I read, watched, listened to, or attended to better understand structural racism and how it shapes every aspect of our society?

  • What do I notice about what I was taught that was incomplete or inaccurate?

  • Recommended viewing film 'Origin' by filmmaker Ava DuVernay streaming on Prime video. 


  • In what ways have I extended myself beyond my comfort zone this year, both in physical presence and in generosity to improve quality of life for those without my privilege (be it skin color, ability, gender, etc...)?

  • In what ways have I applied my self-compassion practice when I feel understandably vulnerable?

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Before I sign off, I’m excited to announce that the much-awaited Rebrand is complete and ready for launch—you will receive all of the first access to content during this time of contemplation before the 4th of July!



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