Movie Night at NY Insight: Changing Minds at Concord High School

Loading Events
This event has passed.

Movie Night at NY Insight: Changing Minds at Concord High School
with Susan Weiser-Finley & Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
Friday, February 22nd, 2019 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Join us for a film night at New York Insight where we will take an in depth look at how mindfulness in schools is changing the lives of young people and creating a breath of fresh air in their lives. We will screen this short film and include a lively conversation with the film’s director Susan Weiser Finley and Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD, professor in the Psychology Department of Hunter College.

This is a real story of remarkable change in a group of young people. Concord High, in Staten Island, NY, is called a ‘transfer school’ — a last hope, last chance to graduate high school for teens. Most of its students have histories of academic failure and trauma. The film Changing Minds at Concord High School follows these students over the course of one semester as they take part in a mindfulness-training program. The amazing twist here is that the students both helped to film the experience and conduct a scientific study of their classmates – comparing the effects of mindfulness training with that of a placebo group. The study also included a science curriculum on the neuroscience of mindfulness – how it can change our brains for the better.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD, professor in the psychology Department of Hunter College was the lead scientist on this project, so the students were her “research assistants.” Inspired by the concept of ‘neuroplasticity,’ – that you can change the brain’s neural pathways and synapses through repeated new experiences – the young researchers posed the question: Would mindfulness practice for just three minutes a day help them and their peers?


Note About Registration:

If you have questions about your registration (cancellation policy, membership discount, email confirmation, etc.), please read our FAQs. If your question is not addressed in the FAQs, please email

New York Insight Meditation Center is offering a new structure for registration. Members receive 15% off of the Sustaining Rate via a code provided in the membership email confirmation.

NYI is committed to ensuring that our programs are available to all, regardless of ability to pay. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.



Susan Weiser-Finley

Susan Finley a long term meditation student is Director of “Changing Minds at Concord High School,” a documentary about a science and mindfulness program she developed for an at-risk school on Staten Island. Inspired by research on the brain’s ability to change, the students learned strategies to better regulate their attention and emotion. As co-founder and director of the nonprofit, The Producers’ Project for nine years, Susan integrated video-production programs into alternative schools, including a FEMA-funded project on trauma and resilience. The resulting youth-made films screened at many venues including Tribeca Film Festival.

Susan’s film credits as a screenwriter, script consultant, and producer
include: “The First Time,” New Line Cinema, “Wall Street,” 20th Century Fox,” Iron And Silk,” Miramax, “Interstellar Pig,” Paramount and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” New Line Cinema. Susan created, wrote and designed “Lizzy and Gordon Visit The Sculpture Garden,” an original animated web feature for the National Gallery of Art’s Education Department that was featured on CNN and in USA Today and awarded Best Site 2000 by Education World. She wrote “Ocean Voyager,” an adventure game for the Smithsonian’s Ocean Planet Exhibit and “Hi, It’s Me,” AT&T Lab’s interactive exhibit at the Tech Museum.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

Dr. Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary is a Professor of psychology and neuroscience at The City University of New York. She is currently conducting an NIH-funded study of teen anxiety at Hunter College examining the link between anxiety symptoms and neural networks. She has translated two decades of her research on stress and anxiety into the development of the stress-reduction app Personal Zen and has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CBS, CNN, NPR, The Today Show, and Bloomberg Television. She explores the interplay between digital technology and emotional well-being on her blog Psyche’s Circuitry and the Psychology Today Blog More than a Feeling. Her work in mindfulness-based stress reduction in at-risk youth is the topic of the documentary film “Changing Minds at Concord High.” She is the founder and Co-Executive Director of the Hunter College Center for Health Technology and The Stress, Anxiety, and Resilience Research Center.

Go to Top