"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly

- (Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963)

Social Justice and Contemplative Practice:

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Oliver Hill, Jr.

Panel discussion honoring the late Oliver Hill Jr. Keynote traditionally held the Sunday prior to MLK Holiday. Hill’s wife, Renee Hill, Ph.D., will share special remarks.

The panel discussion will focus on Hill’s legacy and the ways in which it answers King’s call to end injustice in our own communities. Panelists include:

  • Michelle Chatman, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the District of Columbia; Board President, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.
  • Zewelanji Serpell, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • David J. Dennis, Sr., J.D., Executive Director, Southern Initiative Algebra Project
  • A.C. Fowlkes, Ph.D. CEO, Fowlkes Consulting.

Read more about the 2021 Keynote Panelists .

Dr. Oliver Hill

The virtual keynote panel discussion, titled “Social Justice and Contemplative Practice: Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Oliver Hill, Jr.,” will air live at 2 p.m. on January 17 via Zoom and focus on Hill’s legacy and the ways in which it answers King’s call to end injustice in our own communities. Hill, who passed away on July 7, 2020 and was the son of legendary civil rights attorney Oliver Hill, was a social justice advocate, contemplative practice expert and taught psychology at Virginia State University.

Hill, an incredible teacher, mentor, and community leader, combined his work on contemplative practice with his research, community service and work in the classroom. Hill dedicated his work to building educational pathways for African American youth. He worked with the Southern Institute Algebra Project to help institute the K-16 model for educational support and success for the bottom quartile and ensure that African American students in the region were prepared to enter STEM fields. He was also instrumental in developing a doctoral program in Health Psychology at Virginia State University along with serving as a mentor to so many. All of this work was shaped by his contemplative practice and the use of mindfulness and meditation.


Research articles

Hill, O., Serpell, Z. & Faison, M. (2016). The efficacy of the LearningRx cognitive training program: Modality and transfer effects. Journal of Experimental Education, 84, 600-620.

Clark, V. & Hill, O. (2009). Body mass and cardiovascular reactivity to racism in African American college students. Ethnicity & Disease, 19(1), 2-6. https://www-ethndis-org.proxy.library.vcu.edu/priorarchives/ethn-19-01-2.pdf 

Hill, O. (1990). Rethinking the ‘significance’ of the rejected null hypothesis. American Psychologist, 45(5), 667-668. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.45.5.667.b 

Clark, J. & Hill, O. (1994). Academic procrastination among African-American college students. Psychological Reports, 75(2), 931. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1994.75.2.931 

Dissertation: Hill, O. (1981). Intuition: Inferential heuristic or epistemic mode? (8125129) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. https://search-proquest-com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/docview/303025668?pq-origsite=summon# 



Meditation with Oliver Hill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=567&v=wtbFWPLqoPw&feature=emb_logo

Civil Rights History Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJnytghAb1Y

With Good Reason Radio Show: http://withgoodreasonradio.org/episode/massive-resistance-in-virginia-2/ 



9/11 to 8/15. Broadening Participation Research Grant: Improving Minority Student Mathematics Performance and Persistence in STEM Majors Through Cognitive Training—HRD-1137535. National Science Foundation, HBCU-UP Program. (PI: Oliver Hill, Jr., Virginia State University, VA). $342,795.

9/09 to 8/12. Assessing the Efficacy of Two Levels of Cognitive Training on the Mathematics Performance of Minority Middle School Students—DRL-0929779. National Science Foundation, REESE Program. (PI: Oliver Hill, Jr., Virginia State University). $968,421.

Related Websites:

CMind: http://www.contemplativemind.org/ 

CMind The Tree of Contemplative Practices: http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree 

CMind Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/contemplativemind/videos 

Thank you for celebrating MLK Week 2021 with us.

All of the events have passed for MLK Week. For Black History month, we invite you to events sponsored by The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at VCU. More information can be found here.