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People of Color Daylong

July 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm PDT

Taught by JoAnna Hardy and co-guided by

Valerie Cusson, Amy Love, Harry Um,  Eileen Ybarra, Gabrielle Zhuang

Join us for a daylong meditation retreat for all those who self identify as People of Color.

The day will include guidance in sitting, walking and eating meditation in the Insight/Mindfulness tradition. There will be dharma talks, movement and opportunities for group sharing.

The daylong is open to all levels of meditation experience with a special invitation to beginners.

Join us for a day of refuge, heart settling and connecting.

Please bring a potluck lunch item so that we can share in the joys of food together.

This retreat will be offered on a Dana basis (this means there will be no registration fee and all are welcome).  The practice of Dana, or generosity, allows those that can give financially the opportunity to help support the teachers and center.  Your generosity is always appreciated.

Although there is no registration, please RSVP to let us know you are coming.


JoAnna Hardy has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation. Helping communities and individuals that don’t typically have access to the traditional dharma settings, social/racial justice and building multicultural community is top on her list of priorities. She is an empowered teacher in the Spirit Rock, IMS lineage. Please visit JoAnna’s website



Valerie Cusson came to meditation through yoga and has been practicing mindfulness since 2002. She completed Level I Facilitator Training with Noah Levine and JoAnna Hardy in 2012 and Level II Facilitator Training with JoAnna Hardy and Vinny Ferraro in 2016. She completed the Year To Live practice in 2012 and co-facilitated the Year To Live practice, with Mary Stancavage, in 2016. Valerie is also one of the facilitators for the POC Group and Dharma Collective. Recently, she has been leading mindfulness workshops for educators with the intention of developing heartfulness and compassion in those who serve our youth. She is grateful for her job as a high school teacher because it provides her with Right Livelihood and allows her to spend her days with some pretty awesome kids.


Amy Love is a public school educator with 25 years of experience in the field. Her work in schools includes direct services with students as well as training and coaching other teachers. Amy is dedicated to bringing mindfulness into inner city public schools and has worked in that capacity for many years. Amy received her certification as a secular mindfulness teacher and trainer through Mindful Schools in Oakland, CA. She also completed facilitator training with Against the Stream Buddhist Mediation Society. Amy holds a bachelors degree in sociology and African American studies from Howard University and a masters degree in education from California State University Long Beach. Amy came to the Buddhist path after having practiced Islam with the Nation of Islam during her youth as well as Science of Mind. Amy sits regularly with Against the Stream’s People of Color and People of Color and Allies sanghas.


Harry Um has been practicing meditation since 2009, and completed the Against the Stream Facilitator training with JoAnna Hardy and Vinny Ferraro in 2017. He has been facilitating various groups at Against the Stream since 2013, including the Teen Meditation Group, the People of Color Group, and the POC/Allies Group. He completed the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center in 2016, and has staffed numerous teen meditation retreats with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education since 2012. He holds a Masters in Social Work degree from UCLA, and currently works in a community mental health clinic. He is trained in Dialectic Behavior Therapy, a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral treatment.


Eileen Ybarra began studying Buddhism and sitting meditation in 2004 when she attended a two day non-residential retreat in L.A taught by Trudy Goodman and Noah Levine Since 2004 she has studied with Trudy Goodman, and since 2006 has primarily studied with Noah Levine. She has also studied with Gil Fronsdal. Her profession is public librarianship, a meaningful practice of service and mindfulness which she is grateful for. Currently, she is a facilitator for the monthly People of Color (POC) meditation group where she leads guided meditations and group discussions. She has completed two year-long practice/study groups with Noah Levine, and has completed a year-long sutta study group with Gil Fronsdal, and has completed the Against the Stream Facilitator Training with Noah Levine.


Gabrielle Zhuang has been practicing with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society since 2008 and is a current participant in their Community Facilitator Training Program. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and in her last 9 years of service has worked with survivors of human trafficking, older adults with chronic mental illness, homeless children and families and Veterans.  She is currently the Adjuct Supervisor of The Relational Center, a community wellness center. Gabrielle is also the Assistant Director of the National Association of Social Workers Region-H.  She recently received an MA in Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Community, Liberation and Ecopsychology (CLE) from Pacifica Graduate Institute, her interest and emphasis in writing and research​ has been on the​ intersection of spirituality and social justice. Gabrielle also has a holds a small private practice in Mid-City and West LA


July 21
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Melrose Center
4300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angelas,CA90029United States
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