Mindfulness + DEI

Part of the 2023 Summer Series exclusively for ChangeLawyers Scholars + Fellows. This event series was not recorded.

The purpose of this session is to explore how mindfulness practices can be applied by lawyers and advocates in the context of the ongoing racial reckoning. Unfortunately, now that three years have passed since his death, George Floyd’s name is fading from the public consciousness. But his death sounded a bell that cannot be unrung and so it is up to all of us to carry on the work. Law and policy are important venues where racial justice battles are waged, but they do not bypass the need for the internal, personal work that still needs to happen. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can be used to begin the conversation.

Mindfulness is rooted in ancient Eastern traditions that are slowly coming into the Western mainstream. The benefits of a consistent practice can be transformative for individuals. When done collectively, mindfulness has the potential for societal transformation as well. This session will provide an introduction to mindfulness for absolute beginners and will pivot into a lengthy, guided meditation on understanding one’s own place in eliminating the hierarchy of human value based on race and other characteristics.


Chris Punongbayan

Christopher Punongbayan


Christopher Punongbayan is the Executive Director of California ChangeLawyers, a community foundation whose mission is to build a better justice system for all Californians. ChangeLawyers empowers the next generation of legal changemakers through grants and scholarships totaling $1M+ annually.

Over the last twenty years, Chris has gained deep experience in social justice issues. He profoundly believes in giving voice to the unheard, breaking down barriers, and creating strategic alliances to advance equity. Prior to joining ChangeLawyers, Chris was the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and held positions in a number of nonprofit organizations in California and New York. He was formerly the Vice-Chair of the California Asian & Pacific Islanders Affairs Commission and the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission.

In 2003, Chris received a law student scholarship from ChangeLawyers, which first set him on his social justice path in California and he has never looked back.