LeeRay Costa Events — Talk: A Contemplative Feminist Approach to Teaching about Race and Whiteness; Workshop: Beloved Community and Social Justice in the College Classroom
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2019
"A Contemplative Feminist Approach to Teaching about Race and Whiteness"
10:00-11:30 am, Newcomb Hall, Room 481
Please register for the morning lecture here, as space is limited.
1:30-3:00 pm, Center for Teaching Excellence, Hotel D, 24 East Range
These events are co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Contemplative Sciences center.
LeeRay Costa is Director of Faculty Development, and Professor and Director of Gender and Women’s Studies at Hollins University. Her research, teaching, and community activism focus on social justice and a desire to understand processes of social change. Trained as a feminist cultural anthropologist, she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Thailand on women’s activism and non-governmental organizations, and on transgender youth (Male Bodies, Women’s Souls, co-authored with Andrew Matzner), and in Hawai`i on the local food movement. Her scholarly work also focuses on the practice and outcomes of innovative feminist, anti-racist, and contemplative pedagogies. Currently she is exploring the integration of feminist contemplative practices and spirituality into antiracist, social justice education and social movement activism. In her teaching Costa seeks to nurture beloved community and to create a transformative learning environment where students feel empowered to think critically and self-reflexively, and where they are inspired to vision and create human flourishing and planetary justice. Her research and teaching have been supported by grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Mellon, Teagle, and Luce Foundations, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
Costa’s faculty development work focuses on creating a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus environment for students, faculty and staff, and on supporting faculty in integrating high impact learning practices into their teaching, including contemplative approaches. In 2018 Costa launched the Hollins Contemplative Collective which seeks to cultivate the holistic well-being of faculty, staff, and students and to integrate into curricular and co-curricular life practices of mindfulness and healing that are embodied, inclusive, and both individually and collectively transformative. Costa is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and 30-year student of yoga. She first learned to meditate in Thailand as a WorldTeach volunteer, and has completed mindfulness meditation training through the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. In 2015 she walked 400 miles on the Camino de Santiago, from Lisbon, Portugal to Santiago, Spain. She writes about this pilgrimage experience and its impact on her teaching in her essay “Sabbatical as Sacred Time: Contemplative Practice and Meaning in the Neoliberal Academy,” published in the Journal of Contemplative Inquiry.
Costa is also the co-founder of Girls Rock Roanoke, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower girls and women through music, creative expression, and collaboration within a safe space that honors inclusivity and social justice. Since 2012 Girls Rock has supported hundreds of girls and gender non-conforming youth in amplifying their voices and celebrating their gifts as change makers in their own lives and communities.