Community Tea

Thursday, January 18, 2024

7:00 – 8:15pm

We are continuing the conversation which was instigated by Institute President Doug Baker. Join us via Zoom for sitting, art, and conversation. Space will be limited.

Hosted by Shelita Birchett Benash (Certificate in Meditation and Psychotherapy ’23) and Sean Witty (IMP Program Manager and Psychotherapist).



Shelita Birchett Benash ( received her Certificate in Meditation and Psychotherapy from the Institute in 2023. Shelita is a social work practitioner, interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and group worker with a professional theatre background. She is training in Mindfulness at the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation and is a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher trainee at Brown University. Shelita is passionate about narrative power, health justice, and community-engaged social work. Her research integrates Bell Hook’s love as a practice ethic, Paulo Freire’s critical consciousness, and Mindfulness and self-compassion grounded in Buddhist ethics in a way that speaks to storytelling the Black experience of spirituality and collective accountability of “Ubuntu: I am because we are.” Shelita is excited to make meaningful contributions to BIPOC health literacy and well-being research by pursuing Mindfulness and loving-kindness leadership studies as part of the historically social justice-oriented Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership & Change, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program, Summer 2024 Cohort 24. Shelita is also a member of the International Association of Social Work for Groups (, a Board-Member-at-Large, and a Marketing Committee Co-Chair for the 2024 International Symposium in Madrid, Spain.

Sean Witty ( has been the Program Manager at the Institute since June of 2022. With a special interest in adolescence, Sean works as a psychotherapist in private practice and as an ordained pastor (UCC/ABCUSA) focusing on the intersection of science and spirituality. He also sits on the Board of the Mental Health Network of the United Church of Christ. Sean earned a Master of Theological Studies from Drew Theological School, a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from UMass Boston, and a Certificate in Youth and Theology from Princeton Seminary.