Neuroscientist, Dr. Sará King joins Konda to discuss embodying liberation through overcoming prejudice, the connection between mental health and systemic racism, and the science behind how social justice is synonymous with wellbeing.
Dr. Sará Yafah King is a UCLA-trained neuroscientist, political and learning scientist, social-entrepreneur, public speaker, and yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor. She has over 20 years of experience as a research scientist, and specializes in the study of the relationship between mindfulness, complementary alternative medicine, and social justice. She is the scientific consultant for Peace in Schools, a dharma teacher with Presence Collective, a Post Doctoral Fellow in Neurology, and the founder of MindHeart Consulting, a scientific consultancy offering up seminars, research and development, and trauma healing circles based on the framework she developed called the ‘Science of Social Justice’ – a way of both studying (researching), teaching (facilitating), and healing individuals and communities from the dis-ease of othering and systemic oppression. For more on Sará’s offerings, please visit mindheartconsulting.com and follow her at @mindheartcollective.
VoyageLA Magazine recently put out a timely and insightful article showcasing Dr. Sará King and her ongoing work on The Science of Social Justice.
Intergenerational Battle, Embodied Liberation
After diving into the intergenerational transmission passed down through preparing comfort food with elders, Konda invites Dr. Sará King to share her family’s lineage of trials, tribulations, abilities, and accomplishments. When asked to give a speech about being a Black scientist, Dr. King expressed her family’s ancestral history of overcoming slavery, becoming sharecroppers, and growing to become one of the most well educated families in the country, despite facing such racially prejudiced hardships.
“I am the direct offspring and descendant of five generations of the fight for Black liberation in this country. I am a manifestation of the original battle here in embodied form. So, when you see me and you say the words, ‘Dr. Sará King,’ you have to understand what it took for us to rise from chattle slavery, from total abject dehumanization and objectification.” – Dr. Sará King
For more Konda Mason, uncover an episode exploring the intersection of spirituality and social justice, on Ep. 2 of the Brown Rice Hour
Systemic Racism & Mental Health (23:38)
Speaking to the often-brushed-over direness of the mental health crisis in relation to BIPOC communities, Konda and Dr. King explore the harsh reality of the intersection of systemic racism and mental health. Using her mother’s experience living in the ‘Jim Crow’ South as a case study, Dr. King highlights a timely and potent metaphor that white supremacy is a virus like coronavirus, and the violence ingested from it requires intergenerational healing of body, mind, and soul.
“The violence of white supremacy is like a virus. In the same way that so many of us in the Black and Brown community are not surviving the coronavirus, how many of us have been taken out in mind, body and spirit by the dramatic violence that functions explicitly through white supremacy?” – Dr. Sará King
For an insightful and eye-opening conversation about decolonizing mental health, tune into Ep. 34 of ReRooted
Social Justice Is Wellbeing (35:45)
Through her ‘Science of Social Justice’ framework, Dr. King explains two keys points: 1.) Social justice is wellbeing. 2.) We have never had social justice. Interpreting this from the nondual perspective, she describes social justice as something that simultaneously both exists and does not exist. Digging into the hot topic issue of privilege, and the horror of modern day lynchings, Konda and Dr. King highlight how social justice is more of a North Star ideal, than a current reality.
“When you see the things that are unjust, that are directly contributing to the lack of ability to have health within this bio/psycho/social domain, you can see the wellbeing of the most vulnerable, the most impacted, the ones who are sustaining the greatest violence to their bodies. Until we have health and wellbeing on all of these different levels, we will never have social justice. That is why they are one in the same.”– Dr. Sará King
Open yourself to a conversation around social justice, power, privilege, and interconnection, on Ep. 140 of the Metta Hour