Ali Smith

Mindfulness for Transformative School Culture

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What You'll Learn

  • Discover how mindfulness practice can serve as an alternative to discipline in schools, and the incredible impacts its having on suspension rates in Baltimore schools

  • Learn practical insights for bringing mindfulness, movement, and self-care into schools, and why connection and compassion are keys to making it stick

  • Hear how Holistic Life Foundation is empowering students from elementary to undergraduate, and the impacts mindfulness can have as it ripples out to communities

About Ali Smith

Ali Smith Co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the Friends School of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a Biodiversity specialization. He has over 16 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations all over the planet. Ali has authored a series of children's books, and co-authored several yoga and mindfulness based curriculums, as well as developed numerous workshops and trainings. He also helped develop and pilot HLF’s Mindful Moment program, known for turning “detention into meditation”.

You can learn more about Ali's work at the website for the Holistic Life Foundation.

About Chris Willard, PsyD

Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a father, psychologist, author and consultant. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the past president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He is the author of Growing Up Mindful, (2016) Alphabreaths (2019) and multiple other books for parents, professionals and kids. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

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  1. Karyn Dobson October 21, 2019 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Wow Ali! Thank you to your Dad for ‘forcing’ you to practice and the obvious ripple effect from that; you have helped so many. Very inspiring, I wish you could train me. Great presentation. You should be so proud of yourself. Thank you.
    Melbourne Australia

  2. Irene Kenison October 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Thank you! I love the idea that by being authentic in your own practice you build trust and can give to others, and this will trickle down and ripple out as the students become teachers.

  3. Valerie Kelly October 20, 2019 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Mindful Zones salutes you and your endeavor to empower youth!

  4. Valerie Kelly October 20, 2019 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Ali! Your presence is very encouraging and positive. Grateful to hear this. Thank you Walkie OFF! Embodiment. From punitive to emPowerment! You are a true conduit for change, congratulations! salutes you!!!

  5. anita chamberlain October 20, 2019 at 3:06 am - Reply

    This was an amazing conversation to listen to. I am now feeling inspired to take my ideas to the Principal and start my journey to develop my practice of mindfulness throughout the school. It great to hear that things take time. Anita

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