Michelle Chatman, PhD, is Associate Professor of Crime, Justice, and Security Studies at the University of the District of Columbia. Michelle earned her doctorate in cultural anthropology from American University and teaches courses on urban inequality, youth development, and restorative and juvenile justice. A member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education since 2011, Michelle has been active in numerous CMind initiatives including the 2015 discussion on Race, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Contemplative Movement; 2015 Summer Session faculty; presented at several ACMHE annual conferences, the 2016 Building Communities discussion held at the Fetzer Institute; and has served on the 2015 & 2016 ACMHE Conference Planning Committee.
Michelle is a vibrant leader on her campus and directs the UDC the Mindfulness & Contemplative Learning Initiative. Dr. Chatman is enthusiastic about spreading culturally relevant and critical contemplative approaches that foster belonging, justice, and liberated learning. Michelle shares her “Coltrane Meditation” and “Ancestor Vision Exercise” in workshops, faculty development sessions, and in her classes. In Fall 2020, she co-facilitated a campus reading of Rhonda Magee’s The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities through Mindfulness (2019). She is particularly interested in exploring contemplative practices for racial healing. To that end, she founded The Black Mindfulness Summit, a community for Black contemplative practitioners from the African Diaspora. A practitioner of the Yoruba/IFA faith for over 20 years, the teachings of this ancient tradition, along with influences from her Christian upbringing, serves as the basis of Michelle’s contemplative practices. Dr. Chatman has lectured on contemplative practices and social justice at numerous institutions in the U.S. Her TEDx talks, How Africa Changed My Life and Healing the Harm in Schools, along with other public lectures can be found on YouTube. In addition to her teaching and research, Michelle’s life is fulfilled by her family, beaches, dancing, and karaoke.