Help Open Minds Flourish

Help Open Minds Flourish

From Emma McGonigle

Support Opens Minds and help our programs flourish by building capacity and expanding our outreach. For 7 years, Open Minds has been committed to promoting the emotional well being of our community. Join us!

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For the past seven years, Open Minds, Inc. has been committed to promoting and nurturing the emotional well being - through Embodied Awareness practices - of students, families, and community members in Western Maryland as well as our international work with prisoners and welfare officers in Kenya. Our work largely centers on educating the general public and human service professionals on racial and environmental injustice and providing best practices for implementing change in schools, prisons, healthcare settings and other societal systems. 

In the past 18 months, we have been working through the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering our services and fiscally sponsoring social justice organizations. We believe that through fiscal sponsorship, people are able to identify and solve problems for themselves and Open Minds, Inc. can offer resources and support for those who want to make their own change. 

In addition to fiscal sponsorship, Open Minds is also providing Embodied Awareness programming, which includes movement, proven awareness techniques, and social-emotional learning (SEL), to youth and adolescents at the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), pre-K students at Head Start. We are raising funds to get programming off the ground for children and caregivers in the foster care system in partnership with Maryland Resource Parent Association. We are also working with The Arc of Washington County, an organization devoted to improving the quality of life for all persons with developmental disabilities, to raise funds for Mindfulness teaching and learning materials.

Finally, we are hosting teenage students for our annual Coyote Mindfulness Retreat in partnership with The Reed Center, teaching experientially about contemplative and environmental justice. See our trailer to get a feel for the experience.

The majority of our Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) participants are young BIPOC that face disproportionate fates of incarceration. We provide Embodied Awareness programming and the Victor Cullen Permaculture project with DJS youth.

Our Head Start program works with pre-K sudents that come from diverse low-income families and face disparities in social, emotional, and intellectual development from a young age. Because the first 3 years of life are crucial to a child's development, early intervention Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have been proven to have profound impact on developmental growth.

Open Minds Inc. supports the Mindful Leader Program with the Kenya Prison Services (KPS) and the new upcoming re-entry program that was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by welfare officers and KPS as well as local social justice organization Ladhayamtaa Entertainment Group in Kitangela County outside of Nairobi. The program is a reciprical teaching model where prisoners behind the wall are the lead teachers who have the opportunity to become certified teachers. Our work is to provide resources and know-how support to our partners in Kenya. See the powerful video produced by BBC Life for more information. 

We need the financial support of the community to build our nonprofit's capacity to do this important work, expand our reach, and bolster our programming. We humbly ask you to support our mission of educating and providing the tools and resources necessary for healing and change-making. 

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