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SU to Host Mindfulness Summit

By Staff | Mar 27, 2015

Shepherd University will host and help sponsor the forthcoming Open Minds, Mindfulness for Social Change and Education Summit being held over one eventful day Saturday, April 18.

Jan Hummer, summit organizer and executive director of Open Minds, Inc., a non-profit focused on teaching mindfulness practices to underserved communities throughout Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle, discussed the summit’s offerings and objective in an interview Monday.

According to Hummer the summit is about access to key information and people.

“A lot of mindfulness summits are very expensive,” she said.

“We wanted to make it affordable for people so that they could start their own nonprofit or any kind of organization that would instill theses kinds of changes.”

Hummer described the benefits of incorporating mindfulness practices into classroom environments for example.

“Mindfulness is really for anybody,” she said

“If you’re not coming from a place of love and kindness.. there’s no way you help others,” she said.

Proceeds from the summit will go toward the Open Minds organization.

“We have about 7 or 8 programs running right now,” she said.

Hummer, co-founder and outreach coordinator Amanda Adkins, teacher Jason Murphy, volunteer Bonni Hamberger and intern Danie Armstrong all make up the Open Minds team.

Hummer said a lot of the work is teaching mindfulness to children, mentoring and teaching mindful movement. The group also works on public projects like urban gardens with families and communities in inner city environments.

“We’re definitely reaching a huge community in Western Maryland right now,” she said.

“What we’re doing is really affecting a lot of people in a good way.”

April’s summit will include two key note presentations, and several break out sessions. Break out sessions include subjects such as: energy work, meditation in the classroom, mindful families, contemplative pedagogy gratitude training and mindfulness in business.

The internationally known nonprofit Holistic Life Foundation, based in Baltimore, Maryland, will be the keynote speakers at 11 a.m.

Brandy Hall, owner of Shades of Green, will discuss permaculture design as a tool for students during the second keynote presentation at 1:45 p.m.

The summit will officially begin at 8:30 a.m. with an opening keynote address and guided meditation. Event activities are being held at the Student Center building on Shepherd University’s campus.

General Admission to the summit is $50, though several discounted ticket options are available to many groups beginning at $10 including Shepherd and non Shepherd students, faculty, non-profit and public school teachers, SU alumni and holistic practitioners.

Hummer said the summit will be an annual event.

Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/mindfulness-summit-for-social-change-and-education-tickets-15308073861

To learn more about Open Minds visit openmindspark.org or contact Hummer at 304-839-5128.

The event is still seeking sponsors. Current Sponsors include Bonnie Sitman, Birth Roots Midwivery, Mellow Moods, Blue Moon Saloon, Joe Gray Grow Your Mission, LLC, Jala Yoga, Marion Wolfe and fiscal partners Fusion Partnerships.