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Thank you to those who joined  us on Friday, February 26 from 9-4 pm CST for a day of learning, nurturing ourselves, and sharing the impact of mindfulness in education! Our virtual Educating Mindfully Conference (EMCON2021) had six learning segments each with a different theme as shown below to unfold our special day in a mindful way. We started with a keynote by singer/songwriter Jewel!

View Opening Keynote. View Closing Ignite Talks. View Educator Mini-Retreat. View All Ages Every School Mindfulness Class. Other session recordings can be accessed by our professional members on our Member Site. Learn about membership here.


Our goal was to model mindful remote learning and share a variety of strategies for embedding mindfulness and SEL into your school community as well as next steps and resources for learning more about each session topic.​



Times are shown in Central Standard Time (Chicago) and the schedule is subject to change. Periods 2-5 will each have three breakout session choices. Each 55-minute session will include 25-35 minutes of sharing by the presenter(s), 10-15 minutes of experiential mindful practices, and 10-15 minutes for large group discussion, Q and A, or small breakout room sharing.

1  |  9-10:25 Opening General Session: Embodiment, Healing, and Well-Being  with  Keynote by Jewel

  • Welcome, Inspirations on Educating Mindfully, and Chair Yoga

    • Tracy Heilers, COSEM Founder and Executive Director​

    • Tovi-Scruggs-Hussein, COSEM President​

    • Khayree Bey, COSEM Board Member​

  • Keynote with singer/songwriter/poet/actor/author/philanthropist/mindfulness and SEL advocate Jewel

    • ​Jewel will share about her personal journey to discovering her own identity and wholeness as well as a road map she created (and shares for free at to help herself and now others calm anxiety, increase resilience and access their own inner knowing so they can learn to make happiness a habit.

2  |  10:30-11:25  Self-Awareness, Focus, and the Neuroscience of Learning

  • The MindUP School: From Mindful State to Mindful Trait

    • Dido Balla, Director of Educational Innovation & Partnerships, MindUP

  • Transforming Schools From the Inside Out With Innovative Mindfulness-Based Programming

    • JG Larochette, Founder and Executive Director, Mindful Life Project

  • Mindful Design: Classrooms and Curriculum Built around Mindfulness 

    • Gabrielle Plastrik, Teacher, Seabury School, WA

3  |  11:30-12:25 ​Emotional Intelligence, Self-Regulation, and Resiliency

  • The Reciprocity of Self-Care to Build Equity & Inclusion

    • Chi Kim, CEO, Pure Edge 

    • Teri Lawler, Education Associate for Trauma-Informed Practices and SEL, Office of Equity and Innovation, Delaware Department of Education

  • Countering White Supremacy and Systemic Racism with Mindful Education

    • Bidyut Bose, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Niroga Institute

  • Discovery Mode: The Role of Mindfulness in Adult SEL​

    • Heather Schwartz, Practice Specialist, CASEL​

Lunch Break | 12:25-1:00 

4  |  1-1:55 Relational Mindfulness, Compassion, and Belonging

  • Coalition-Building in the Classroom: Utilizing Mindful, Embodied Dialogic Pedagogy for Personal and Collective Empowerment, Liberation, and Action 

    • Jersey Cosantino, Former Teacher, Doctoral Student, Syracuse University, NY

    • Easton Davis, Doctoral Student, Syracuse University, NY

  • Best Practices for Transformative Virtual Facilitation

    • Meena Srinivasan, Executive Director, Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) 

    • Hector Montenegro, TEL Board Chair/Sr. Advisor for Leadership Development 

  • The Green Slices of Pie: Mindfulness and Compassion-based Approaches to Build Social Awareness and Relationship Skills 

    • Alexis Harris, Project Director, Compassionate Schools Project

    • Catherine Graber, Implementation Coach and Teacher, Compassionate Schools Project 

    • Cindy Plappert, Former Teacher, Compassionate Schools Project

5  |  2-2:55 ​Interconnectedness, Equity, and Systemic Transformation

  • Slow and Steady: Building Momentum for Infusing Mindfulness throughout a Michigan School District 

    • Paula Lightsey, Education Administrator, Former K-8 Principal, Southfield Public Schools

    • Rita Benn, PhD. Co-founder and Executive Director, Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education; Adjunct Faculty, University of Michigan

    • Kristin Ervin, Co-Founder and President, Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education (MC4ME)

  • Mindfulness: The Foundation for Transformative Equity Work in Your School 

    • Sally Albright-Green, Racial Healing Allies™ Leader, Instructional Coach, IL

    • Grace Helms Kotre, Racial Healing Allies™ Leader, Adjunct Lecturer, MI

  • Towards a Mindfulness Technique for Human Beings Yearning to Dismantle Systems of Oppression

    • Barnaby Spring, actor, artist, writer, educator, yoga/meditation teacher, NY​C

6  |  3-4:00 Closing General Session with Impact-Focused Ignite Talks

  • Arthy Sureth- high school Senior at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She is the President of the Mind-Body Ambassadors Club where she leads mind-body medicine workshops to teach mental health coping skills for her peers, community members, and doctors across the state of Florida.

  • Linda Ryden- Peace Teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, Washington DC’s largest public elementary. She is the creator of the Peace of Mind Program and author of the Peace of Mind Curriculum Series, a combination of mindfulness-based SEL, conflict resolution and social justice for Early Childhood through Middle School. 

  • Khayree Bey- COSEM Board Member, 2021 Colonial School District Teacher of Year and 2019 SHAPE Delaware’s Health Teacher of the Year. He currently implements an equity-based trauma and poverty-informed culturally responsive approach to teaching the art of MBSR, SEL, Kemetic yoga and other self-care practices to middle schoolers. 

  • Matt Dewar- COSEM past president and high school SEL specialist in Illinois. He has designed and implemented mindfulness-based teacher professional development and school-wide mindfulness and emotional intelligence programming. He is the author of The Mindful Breathing Workbook for Teens (2021) and Education and Well-Being.

  • Ursula Koffer- District administrator for the New York City Department of Education. She is currently project director of The School for Mindful Inquiry Design Team while supporting her district in Brooklyn with yoga and mindfulness instruction, instructional coaching support, and culturally-responsive curriculum with instructional practices.  

  • Hector Montenegro- former math teacher, principal, Chief of Staff, and Superintendent. He is currently Senior District Advisor for the CASEL and works with districts and administrators nationally and internationally on systemic implementation of SEL. He provides training on instructional strategies for ELLs, leadership development for administrators, and more. He is shown below leading a session at EMCON2020.

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​Educator Mini-Retreat  |  10:00-12:00 CST | VIEW RECORDING HERE

Educators, please also join us for a post-conference Educator Mini-Retreat. Optional and included in the price of the conference, we'll spend two relaxed hours connecting, discussing what inspired us on Friday, and diving deeper into subjects of our choice; as well as collectively setting intentions, breathing deeply, moving mindfully, and meditating together in community. 

FREE Global Event  |  All Ages Every School Mindfulness Class  |  1:00-2:30 CST | VIEW RECORDING HERE

We invite you and your whole school community to join us for a fun event that gathers stakeholders from around the globe to commit to the small step of a daily mindfulness practice to create the big impact of life-long social and emotional wellbeing.


This family-oriented event will include:

  • Mindfulness practices with Laurie Grossman of Inner Explorer;

  • Yoga with Ross Robinson of Holistic Life Foundation

  • Guidance on designing & using mindful spaces in your home & classroom with school psychologist Cara Feeny of William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School in DE;

  • Journalling activity with Shannon Cox and Amanda Deeter, co-creators of SELLA curriculum, Montgomery County Educational Service Center, OH;

  • Mindful listening and relaxation with a pre-recorded song by singer-songwriter and mindfulness-SEL advocate Jewel,;

  • Resources for increasing resilience, sustainable happiness skills, and social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies.


Here is the Zoom RSVP link to share with your entire school district community (district families, staff, school board, community partners). Together let's make this the biggest mindfulness class ever!!


FREE for COSEM professional membersMembers register here. Become a member here (financial aid scholarships available).


Non-member rate is $49; this includes all three events. Non-members can register and pay here.  

Session descriptions, Zoom join links, and presentation slides will be shared via a Conference Program Google doc a week prior to the event to the email address you provide at the time of registration.


Zoom sessions will be recorded and by registering, you agree to have your image used in various media publications by COSEM. Create a Zoom account and download/update the app on the device you'll be using prior to the event.​


Consider asking your school, district, ROE, DOE, cooperative service provider, or other educational association or organization to become a COSEM group member for $499-$999 with the help of this template. Individual and group members can attend our virtual conference at no additional cost, as well as attend our self-care, mentorship, and PD events throughout each month of the year.



COSEM is an ISBE-approved Illinois state PD provider. All conference participants will receive Evidence of Completion for 5 professional development hours after completing the conference evaluation form and after attendance is verified. We have also applied with IDFPR to offer CEUs. We'll post here once we have confirmation that we can offer those as well.


Members have access to view past conference and event recordings on our trackable Member Site! They also have the opportunity to earn 24 continuing education units (for social workers and counselors) or professional development hours (for teachers) for a $30 fee after viewing 24 hours of Member Site content. Learn more here.

Members can also earn 1 grad credit from the University of Sioux Falls for a $45 fee for viewing 15 hours of Member Site content, reading our Educating Mindfully book, and completing an implementation plan assignment. Learn more here.


We invite educators to submit a video of mindfulness in action at your school by February 24 as part of our Educator Grant Program for a chance to be randomly selected as our next $1000 resource grant recipient. We'll announce the next recipient during the closing session of EMCON2021. See submittal examples and learn more here.


Complete our conference evaluation form at the end of the day for a chance to win one of many giveaway prizes! 


Click here for details on conference sponsorship, joining our Digital Resource Fair, or donating a giveaway prize. Thank you in advance for your support!

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Thank you for planning and hosting this spectacular event.  I got so much value from this conference and began implementing techniques I learned immediately in my personal and professional life.  Already, I see a positive difference in my classroom an in myself! Thank you for the gift of mindfulness!

This was absolutely the BEST conference I have ever attended. I thought I was going to learn how to help our kids, but found it was more about helping myself and the teachers. THEN we could help our kids.​

Congratulations on an amazingly successful conference. Unlike most conferences I participate in, I departed feeling connected, authentically me, seen, heard, filled up with wisdom and new ideas, supported and so much more. And I’m just a program provider and presenter. I  can’t even imagine what everyone else is feeling, though I did get a sense of that throughout. Thank you for creating a space for REAL discussion, reflection and honesty. This is TOUGH work. It is no panacea. And, it starts with us and our own practice, self-knowledge and self-care. So much richness these last few days. Thank you!​

The conference was an amazing experience of learning and networking with innovative beautiful people. I felt renewed and inspired.

Thank you so very much for gathering us together for the first COSEM conference. I'm so grateful to have been part of this experience and the ways I hope to bring it back to my own context. And I'm so appreciative of all the work it took to create. ​


It was truly inspiring to see such a passionate group of teachers and speakers come together to explore how to bring mindfulness to schools. We really enjoyed being a part of it and wanted to be sure to thank you again for your efforts and vision. 

I left this conference feeling energized and inspired to incorporate mindfulness into my life and school buildings; I was amazed with the amount of resources I was able to bring back to my schools. Highly recommend attending!!



Here is our promotional material folder to share about our conference. Thank you in advance for helping spread the word!  

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