May 10, 2022 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm America/Chicago Timezone
Online via Zoom
Tyler Staples

Join The Resilient Activist and others for an

Becoming a Resilient Activist

Mindfulness and Resilience Training (MRT)

More information and registration at:

This research study is offered at no cost to participants.

May 10th’s event is an opportunity for you to evaluate whether you’d like to make the commitment to participate in the 9-week research study that will be held on Zoom from May 17th – July 12th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm Central.

The Resilient Activist believes that the world needs inspired, visionary activists who have the resilience to see us through these unprecedented times.

This course will incorporate resilience training, trauma and grief support, mindfulness practices, body relaxation, breathwork, and nature immersion.

Learn more about the study from the lead investigator Tyler Staples and mindfulness professionals Erik Hulse and Julia Grimm:

Lead: Tyler Staples
Lead: Tyler Staples
Instructor: Erik Hulse
Instructor: Erik Hulse
Instructor: Julia Grimm
Instructor: Julia Grimm

The Fine Print

Program Facilitators/Researchers

Tyler D. Staples, MS is a Licensed Master’s Level Psychologist in the state of Kansas, and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Kansas City University. He has been practicing psychology since 2015, both in inpatient as well as outpatient settings. In addition to his doctoral studies, Tyler currently works as an adjunct professor at Avila University. His dissertation research is on psychological resilience training in healthcare professionals.

Erik Hulse retired from the Overland Park Police Department in 2016, after 25 years of service. He is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and teaches for the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness (MAM), the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, and Pause First Academy. Erik is in a 2-year chaplaincy training program through Upaya Institute and Zen Center.

Julia Grimm, LMLP, CMT-200, RYT-200 is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher, a therapist, and a trained yoga teacher. She specializes in trauma-informed care & teaching mindfulness to children and adults. Julia graduated with an MSc in Clinical Psychology from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She teaches at Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness and works as a Licensed Master’s Level Psychologist at Jewish Family Services.

Sami Aaron, Founder/Executive Director, The Resilient Activist is a Climate Reality Leader, an Extension Master Naturalist, a yoga and meditation teacher, and an environmental activist working on the restoration of pollinator habitats.

Tobi Holloway is a former group fitness instructor and is enrolled in the 200-Hour Mindfulness Teacher Training Program with the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness. She is passionate about taking good care of ourselves, each other, and our planet. She is on the Board of The Resilient Activist, teaches meditation and resilience, and is a presenter for the speakers’ bureau.


The aim of the proposed project is to determine the extent to which resilience training improves resilience and coping flexibility, and reduces perceived stress, as measured by the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC; Connor & Davidson, 2003), the Coping Flexibility Questionnaire (COFLEX; Vriezekolk et al., 2012), respectively. It is hypothesized that there will be changes in scores on all three measures. In particular, there will be increases in resilience and coping flexibility and decreases in perceived stress from pretest to posttest. It is further hypothesized that follow-up resilience and perceived stress scores will decrease compared to completion of the training paradigm, but not back to the original pretest level of resilience perceived stress scores.


The significance of the proposed research project is one of application. The current state of political and/or community activism is one of significant anxiety and profound uncertainty, which has further been driven by the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Given this, cultivating resilience is of paramount importance by means of reducing compassion fatigue and burnout, as well as promoting overall mental well-being. The efficacy of such a program would have outstanding implications for all individuals. Resilience programming could be expanded to any number of community-based programs, the hope of which would be to improve resilience and cognitive flexibility, as well as reduce stress, for entire communities.


Recruited participants will complete the PSS, COFLEX, and CD-RISC prior to the outset of the training program. For ethical reasons, training group assignment will be on a first-come-first-served basis, and thus random assignment will not be possible. Assessment will be repeated upon training completion and on 3-month follow-up. Participants will be randomly assigned a participant number with which to identify the repetition of assessments while keeping them anonymous. Participants will be given a card on which to write their number.


The first four weeks focus on developing characteristics shown by research to influence resilience development. These include developing an understanding of what resilience is (and isn’t) as well as practical skill development in the areas of:

  • Constructing achievable goals
  • Planning for distressing situations
  • Addressing unhelpful thinking patterns
  • Handling emotional crises
  • Developing acceptance
  • Defining realistic optimism
  • Introducing relaxation training basics

The second four weeks will introduce participants to the key principles of mindfulness, instruction for formal and informal practices, and group discussions. With a commitment to involvement, both within and outside of class, participants will understand how integrating mindfulness into their daily life can play a significant role in transforming their experience with troubling emotions and even physical pain.

The final session will introduce participants to Visionary Activism, a practice that melds mindfulness practices, heartfelt activism, and profound nature connection as tools to develop a personal activism plan that nurtures resilience and joy.

What will the Study Look Like?

Participants in the proposed study will be community activists asked to attend a 9-week resilience training program offered by The Resilient Activist non-profit organization. Sessions will be held from May 17, 2022, thru July 12, 2022, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm Central. Attendees enrolled in the training program will then be recruited into the study itself from the training group. The training group will be limited to 35 participants.

The training paradigm is informed by prior training programs modeled around concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness. Also built into the paradigm are opportunities for social connection to peers. Each session will take place on Zoom within The Resilient Activist’s online Community Platform. The sessions will be 90 minutes in length.

Sunset on the ocean; person standing on shore with arms open wide