Presenters & Practice Leaders

Michelle C. Chatman, PhD

Dr. Ram Bhagat is a longtime educator, arts innovator, and peacebuilder who has been teaching and transforming communities for 35 years. Dr. Bhagat is committed to healing trauma in classrooms, schools, and communities. Ram is an international conflict resolution trainer. He is an expert in culturally responsive circles, specialist in arts integration, certified in restorative justice, trauma awareness & resilience, and yoga & mindfulness.

Rosalynne Duff is the Equity Coordinator of the CREATE Teacher Residency Program based in Atlanta, GA. Duff has experienced the intersectionality of SEL, mindfulness, equity and leadership through the Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) program at the Omega Institute. She is a Curriculum Consultant for the SEE (Social, Emotional and Ethical) Learning Program.

An activist, artist, and practitioner of contemplative studies in education, she was a founding teacher of Kindezi Old Fourth Ward charter school in Atlanta, GA. Duff holds a CBCT certification as a meditation teacher in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training through The Center for Contemplative Studies at Emory University. Duff was a classroom teacher for five years and has over ten years of teaching experience in public, charter and international schools. Over the last ten years she has created programs for K-12 education in brain-based learning, mindfulness, and culturally relevant pedagogy.Her contemplative practice spans over 18 years. She is most proud of  championing a Mindfulness in Education school-wide movement at a charter school in Atlanta, GA.

Session Title: The journey of a Black female K-12 educator introducing black youth to mindfulness and meditation through education.

Bradford C. Grant is a Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture of the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University, Washington DC. He has been in leadership roles at Hampton and Howard Universities as Chairperson, Director, Associate Dean and Interim Dean. As a registered architect and educator he has extensive experience in community design and contemplative practices in design education. Grant is past president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), a former board member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), past chair of the Humanities DC and the current board president of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Lenwood Hayman, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University. As a practitioner of Radical Love, Lenwood is guided by the perception that love is most effective as an offering, not an investment, as most offerings come with no expectation for repayment. As a teacher, Lenwood offers this radical love by inspiring marginalized and social-justice-minded scholars to critically analyze course content to develop a skillset for disrupting the incomplete narratives established about the communities from which they come. As a researcher, Lenwood engages radical love by using a resilience-informed lens to address the social, psychological, structural, and environmental influences of emotional arousal in under-privileged and marginalized populations. Lenwood’s current research focuses on enhancing social-emotional intelligence in Black men via contemplative practices in efforts to disrupt the toxically masculine narrative that contributes to many of their negative health outcomes.

Ife Lenard, MSW, EdM, has a profound commitment to intentional spaces, service-leadership, and building relationships in a different, more human way.  Her ability to serve as a catalyst share stories, unpack inequities that sustain harm, and deepen practices move educators forward in their journey.  Experiences with her address and interrupt toxicity and racial and social disparities as she uses the transformational movements of educational leadership, clinical social work, restorative practices, and mindfulness to again move participants toward a collective humanity that embraces holistic development. She also serves simultaneously as Professor to budding teachers and social workers, and as an Educational Consultant to educators and clinicians.  Ife holds a B.S. in Human Ecology and two Masters -Clinical Social Work and Educational Leadership- both from Columbia University.  A mother of two young adults, Ife is devoted to them receiving messages and being in places where they know and believe that they both are worthy, beautiful and divine.  

Dr. Natalie Watson-Singleton is a mental health expert and renowned speaker, researcher, and clinician. She received her PhD in Clinical-Community psychology from the University of Illinois. She is an assistant professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and an affiliated faculty member with Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Watson-Singleton’s research expertise includes understanding how race and gender shape mental health-seeking attitudes, behaviors, and health as well as how to tailor services to address the mental health needs of diverse communities.

Velma L. Cobb, Ed.D., CPCC, ACC is Director of the Lander Center for Educational Research in the Touro College Graduate School of Education. The Lander Center supports learning from practice for both college faculty and teachers and administrators in PrK-12 educational settings.  She approaches this work by incorporating culturally responsive-sustaining practices, social and emotional intelligence, mindfulness and other contemplative practices, and positive psychology methodologies with an equity and anti-bias lens. Velma is Principal and Founder of the V L. Cobb Leadership Group.  With more than 30 years of professional experience in the education and not-for-profit sectors, she is a certified coach; a licensed Bigger Game© trainer; and a Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)© and LCP Culture Survey© 360 assessment practitioner.  Velma invites collaborative partnerships in exploring possibilities for new insights, building creative and innovative teams, and cultivating inclusive, intentional and compassionate cultures.

Paula Lightsey believes that self-awareness, self-care, and self-reflection are keys to the pathway of  health, success and happiness. She is a seeker and sifter of experiences and knowledge who firmly believes that we must learn how to focus our mind. She has initiated district and school wide mindfulness practices and sees the strategies and practices of mindfulness as a gateway for adult and student wellness along with academic success. In essence, Paula has a passion, gift, and intuitive nature that motivates and drives people to reach their fullest potential. Paula Lightsey, presently serves as a central office supervisor for Southfield Public Schools in Southfield, Mi. Prior to this position she was the founding  Principal of an International Baccalaureate Primary and Middle Years Program. She has served in several roles over her 30 years of experience, as teacher, counselor, educational consultant and holds degrees in administrative leadership, counseling, and special education.

%d bloggers like this: