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Statement on Racism, Wellbeing, and the Center’s Path Forward

June 15, 2020

On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year old Black man, was murdered.

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, he struggled to breathe and to live.

Mr. Floyd’s death is just one of many acts of brutality committed against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color each day. At the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, we share in pain and anger, and support those who are protesting and working to address racism.

Racism, oppression, and societal disregard for the experiences of marginalized people are significant barriers to wellbeing. We believe that access to wellbeing resources are critical for human flourishing. Because of this, we work to prioritize free resources for students, faculty, staff, and the community, such as our Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website, Stress Busters, and our new wellbeing webinar series.

The Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing is deeply committed to addressing systemic racism in all forms, and to the wellbeing and flourishing of our community. Following the killing of Mr. Floyd, University of Minnesota President Joan T.A. Gabel took strong and deliberate actions to uphold our shared values as a University community, and committed to work to advance solutions to the many challenges we face – including the diseases of COVID-19 and racism.

At the Center, we stand with President Gabel, and are listening to students and community leaders while keeping this time of pain and change at the forefront of our future decision-making.

We commit to collaborating with University and community partners to expand our programming, resources, and websites to feature more information about equity, diversity, and inclusion, and why all are critical components of wellbeing.

We would like to hear from you. Do you have ideas that the Center should explore? Please fill out the brief form below so that we may grow together, and optimize community wellbeing by ensuring that the Center is a welcoming place to learn, and by creating a world free of structural systems of oppression.

Click here to fill out the form


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Mandala is a biannual magazine produced by Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. It captures the core aspects of the Center: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation, and the ongoing journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

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