Returning to Haiti

Written by: Donna Karan (view bio) Monday, 20 May 2013

rerf8 Z5o2CNGv6tEhWAkoEaEISblkMgUQKH Ka5qjE Returning to HaitiMy return to Haiti – at long last! After six months of being away, I was beyond thrilled to visit this land of creativity and it was a dream come true to bring my friend and fellow designer Robert Lee Morris with me.

Sharing these artisans with Robert was a very touching experience for me. There was such an astonishing exchange of awe and respect; artist to artist.

I was amazed by the progress and developments that have taken place in the months since I’ve been away. This continued rebuilding of Haiti is breathtaking and, in my opinion, you can see this growth most clearly within the artisan communities. The tremendous need for vocational education became even more clear to me. I have seen such growth amongst the artisans that we’ve been working with – Pascale Theard and Paula Coles are extraordinary examples of vocational education at work and I am excited to see this scale.

We were also able to meet with Caroline Sada who shared her latest development with us: a beautiful school in the heart of Cité Soleil. With such a small team she was able to do so much, in an area that is most vulnerable and and for the future of the country: the children. It was all so inspiring.

The bottom line is this: I really miss being in Haiti and I can’t wait to go back.


Zen at Kerckhoff Hall

Written by: Donna Karan (view bio) Tuesday, 16 April 2013

yw+ucla main Zen at Kerckhoff Hall

Currently in session is the 3rd cycle of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy at UCLA‘s Kerckhoff Hall. This training is an introduction to the 5 modalities, guiding each trainee toward creating an embodied experience of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapies. Comprised of 50 trainees, cycle 3 includes the in-house staff training of doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals from UCLA. Each trainee has committed to accomplishing 50 hours of clinical rotation hours and on-site visits with a wonderful advantage of having access to patients.

The outcome of this cycle is to prepare the trainees for next month, when they will be practicing the UZIT Self-Care modality integrating their practice inwardly before working with patients throughout the UCLA Health System. Clinical coordinators who are UZITs are on campus at both of UCLA’s hospitals to support the trainees. Because of their vast clinical experience, trainees are also being taught a shortened version of the UZIT program designed specifically for in-hospital staff trainings.

Faculty members currently on-site at UCLA include Master Trainers Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman along with Mary Taylor teaching Contemplative Self Care. UZIT and UCLA faculty member Mary Beth Charno, RN, BSN, OCB, HNB-BC is also attending and supporting this session. All oils used for this training were generously donated by Young Living Essential Oils. Find out more about the UZIT program and where you can take a class here.



Written by: Donna Karan (view bio) Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Many people celebrated the month of March as National Care for the Caregiver month. We, of course, love this as it resonates with our mission and passions on many levels.

We also understand that an essential part of holistic care is self care – taking time to nurture your mind, body and spirit; to center, to sit in stillness, to surround yourself in all of the elements that most nurture your soul.

Over the past month our Founder, Donna Karan, took some time to do just this kind of necessary self care. Her travels eventually led her to India, where she spent some soul-nourishing time at the Isha Foundation – a non-religious, not-for-profit, public service organization, which addresses all aspects of human wellbeing.

We invite you to experience some of her journey by visiting our Facebook Album here.


Our Mission

The Urban Zen Foundation creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children in mind, body and spirit. Urban Zen designs forums, partners with existing organizations and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action.