As the school year begins and we have the priviledge of working with children from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, it is essential that we work to create inclusive and welcoming learning communities. An important part of this work, particularly in public schools, is a committment to secularism in our teaching, and to respecting the diverse religious and non-religious beliefs of our children and their families, both in priniciple and in practice.
Secularism maintains a separation beetween state and religious institutions and recognizes religious equlity before the law. Secularism invites students to bring their own belief system to the educational experience, and in teaching yoga and mindfulness we can meaningfully support students in this exploration without promoting any particular religious or spiritual beliefs.
Join LFY founder Jennifer Cohen Harper, with special guest Catherine Cook-Cottone, Univerity of Buffalo Professor and founder of Yogis in Service, to explore guiding questions to reflect on as you work to ensure secularity in your teaching, and create a welcoming environment where everyone can feel safe and included.
About Jennifer Cohen Harper:
Jennifer Cohen Harper is an author and educator, who works to support all children and teens in the development of strong inner resources through the tools of yoga and mindfulness. Her goal is to help kids, and those who care for them, thrive in the world regardless of circumstances, and navigate the many challenges they face with a sense of personal power and self-awareness.
As the founder and CEO of Little Flower Yoga, Jennifer brings embodied mindfulness programing and education to schools and community organizations nationwide, serving students, families, educators, and mental health providers. She is an active member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and the board president of the non-profit Yoga Service Council, which works to maximize the effectiveness and sustainability of those committed to sharing practices supporting healing, resilience, self-development, community building and positive social change.
Jennifer's work has been featured in prominent publications including the NY Times, The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Publishers Weekly, and Yoga Journal, and endorsed by thought leaders including Dan Siegel, Sharon Salzberg, Rick Hanson and Congressman Tim Ryan. Jennifer is an engaging teacher and presenter, committed to collective growth and learning. She offers powerful information in a practical, easy-to-implement format with warmth, humor and joy.