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Tackling Trauma

Chris Borland + Dr. Richard Davidson

Friday, April 10, 2020
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Trauma comes in different forms, and mindfulness can help in healing it. Concerns about brain injuries drove former linebacker Chris Borland away from the NFL. Now a mental health advocate, he joins Dr. Richard Davidson to discuss how contemplative practice can be tailored to the unique challenges athletes face on and off the field. Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin”“Madison, Dr. Davidson has pioneered groundbreaking studies of how mindfulness-based practices have the potential to substantially mitigate the impact of stress and injury in athletes.

This program is presented with the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin““Madison.

About the speakers

Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin”“Madison.

He received his PhD from Harvard University in psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 440 articles, chapters, and reviews and edited 14 books. He co-authored The Emotional Life of Your Brain with Sharon Begley andAltered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body with Daniel Goleman.

He is the recipient of many awards for his research including the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006. In 2017 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2018 appointed to the Governing Board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).

His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.

Chris Borland is a media producer with the Los Angeles”“based (Co) Laboratory Studios, a teacher with Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, and a graduate student in neuroscience at King’s College, London. Borland is a 2013 graduate of the University of Wisconsin. As a member of the Badger’s football team, Chris was an All-American linebacker and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Borland was also a two-time team captain, Wisconsin Student-Athlete of the Year, and recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Borland was the third round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2014 NFL draft. In his first season, Chris led the 49ers in tackles, was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team, and was an alternate for the Pro Bowl. Borland walked away from professional football after his rookie campaign in hopes of preserving his long-term mental health.

Since retiring in 2015, Borland has worked in mental health at the Carter Center, advised on a meditation pilot program with former NFL players at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds, and advocated on behalf of military veterans and athletes living with the consequences of brain injury. Chris has been featured on Face the Nation, CBS This Morning, ESPN, and more. He lives in Los Angeles and Dayton, Ohio.

What if our world were a kinder, wiser, more compassionate place? The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin”“Madison seeks to answer that question by cultivating well-being and relieving suffering through a scientific understanding of the mind. They investigate the science of emotions, contemplative practices, and qualities of mind affecting well-being, including attention, resilience, kindness, compassion, gratitude, and empathy. Part of one of the world’s top research institutions, the Center benefits from cross-disciplinary collaborations in the arts and humanities, the physical and natural sciences, and the social sciences. Founded by Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a friend and confidante of the Dalai Lama and groundbreaking researcher in the study of emotions and the brain, the Center has become a global hub for innovations in affective and contemplative neuroscience in addition to well-being across the lifespan.

Lead support for Brainwave is provided by Science Sandbox, an initiative of Simons Foundation, and by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Major support is provided by Gerry Ohrstrom, Rasika and Girish Reddy, and Noah P. Dorsky.

Program support is provided by Eileen Caulfield Schwab, Eva and Yoel Haller, Cheryl Henson, and Heather Beth Henson.

All tickets have been refunded. Please contact with Box Office at 212-620-5000 ext. 344 with questions.

Tickets: $40

Member Tickets: $32

Tickets go on sale at 11:00 AM on January 9. For access to the exclusive member presale on January 7 and 8, become a member today.