Marion Brisco (1926-2011) was a single mother of six and the maternal grandmother of Senior Faculty member, Dr. Sabrina N’Diaye. At the tender age of 34, this vibrant young woman endured a debilitating stroke. She awakened from a coma 50 days later, and lived for an additional 50 years. She never walked again, or spoke more than three words. In the midst of this story of sorrow and loss, emerged a woman of tremendous spiritual stature, amazing style, and perfect grace. For those who were watching, she became the living example of surrender, boundless love, and ancient wisdom. When she became the great-grandmother of Sabrina’s children, she was promoted to the title of, “Big Mama.”

Armed with one strong arm and an infectious laugh, she defiantly said, “No” to the limitations that were placed on her, managed to be seen in her silence, and inspired the women in her family who followed her.

The “Big Mama” fund is established in her memory.  It will be awarded to an African-American who is striving for Certification in Mind-Body Medicine, and committed to trauma healing within the African-American community.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be an African-American (or an American from the African diaspora)
  2. Has completed the Advanced Training in Mind-Body Medicine
  3. Has been accepted into CMBM’s Certification program.
  4. Has committed to facilitating a minimum of 2 groups, at low or no cost to participants, which addresses the needs of an underserved segment of the African-American community (eg HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses, poverty, women, incarcerated men, addiction, survivors of overt racism, violence, or sexual assault)
  5. For their Certification paper, explore a specific challenge in the African-American community that has been insufficiently addressed in the current research. Complete a 3-5 page research paper that examines how this challenge might be impacted by the inclusion of mind-body skills.
  6. Be willing to write about their group’s experience, and share it in the CMBM community.

Application process:

  1. Upon acceptance into the Certification program, applicants should apply at this link
  2. Second part of the application is a short (and friendly!) interview

Note: Financial support will be based on the availability of funds and the number of applicants.  The funds will not completely cover the cost of Certification.  Applicants will be required to fundraise from other sources as well. Payment plans are available.