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Echoing: A Practice of Liberation through Transformative Education

by Monika L. Son

– Black people living in the U.S. have had to resource themselves with practices to help them remain resilient against the oppression they experience. Pandemic-inspired challenges have made the collective contemplation on how to engage in liberating, transformative practices imperative. Faculty across the country have been tasked with creating nuanced ways to cultivate contemplative, restorative, and liberatory pedagogy. The focus of the current study was to develop a clearer understanding as to how contemplative practices help inspire people constrained by structural inequities to actively shift their mode of being and teaching in higher education. Through a contemplative practice known as echoing (Laymon, 2020), the authors wrote brief love letters to one another. Thematic analyses of each letter yielded suggestions as to how this practice could be used to further resource resilience, well-being, innovative pedagogical practice, self-care, and spirit-nurturing rituals.

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Monika published the article along with faculty/SEEK counselors from the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Department. The work draws from our collective years of experience working in SEEK and opportunity programs. We wanted to inspire a different way of being with one another and our students and reconnect to the resilience, wisdom, strength, and beauty that we offer.