Currently Ericka Huggins is professor of Sociology and African-American Studies in the Peralta Community College District, she brings her legacy of social activism and spiritual practice to her lectures and classroom facilitation. Erickaa€™s desire to serve humanity began in 1963, when she attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Three weeks after the birth of their daughter, John Huggins was killed and Huggins was widowed. In May 1969, Huggins and fellow Party leader Bobby Seale were targeted and arrested on conspiracy charges sparking a€?Free Bobby, Free Erickaa€? rallies across the country.
While awaiting trial for two years before charges were dropped, including time in solitary confinement, Huggins taught herself to meditate as a means to survive incarceration. A lifelong writer and poet, upon release from prison in 1971, Ericka became writer and editor for the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service.
From 1973-1981, Huggins was Director of the Oakland Community School, a groundbreaking community-run child development center and elementary school founded by the Black Panther Party. In 1976, Ericka Huggins became both the first woman and the first Black person to be appointed to the Alameda County Board of Education. In 1979, ten years after her release from prison, Huggins returned to California state, county and federal prisons and jails to share her experiences of yoga and meditation. When I pondered more on that answer, I understood that anything we see around us is only a manifestation of what is within us.


Now, how do we cultivate the balance and the peace within ourselves that we crave for externally?
Now, if we hold on to this pure and untainted treasure and make it grow, we reach a state where only this purity exists. There, she committed to moving from the sidelines to the frontlines in the global human rights movement. After returning to New Haven, Connecticut to be with Johna€™s family, Ericka was invited by community members and students to open a party chapter there. The resulting trial, one of the longest and most celebrated of the era, spawned several books.
From this time on, she would incorporate spiritual practice into daily life, her community work and teaching as a tool for change - not only for herself, but for all people. In 1974, her book of poetry chronicling her experience of imprisonment and liberation, Insights and Poems, co-authored with Huey P. She created the vision for the innovative curriculum for the school, which became a model for and predecessor to the charter school movement.
She also developed a unique volunteer support program for women and children with HIV in the Tenderloin and Mission districts of San Francisco. We project our inner feelings, emotions and beliefs onto the world at large, and expect the world to change, when the solution, the source, is within us.


In my humble understanding, I feel that we don’t have to cultivate it, but instead we need to remove and uncover the umpteen coverings that have engulfed ourselves.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It all starts with us – you and me.
Kudos to each and every contributor for they are helping enlighten so many beings on the path of listening to ones heart, making this journey more beautiful and purposeful. In 1968, at age 18, she became a leader in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party with her husband John Huggins.
She has continued this work with adults and, in addition, has continued to teach in homes for foster and adopted children and pregnant teens.
Then our external world changes: there is no rush, no fight for a cause, nothing is done which is heavy or complicated. For the past 20 years, she has also taught relaxation and mindfulness in California youth correctional facilities in addition to many Northern California public school districts and community colleges. I switched on the TV and all I saw was violence, first on one news channel, then on another, and when I switched to yet another channel violence of a different kind was being reported.



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