Dr. Bhagat received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from VCU, where he specialized in a regional approach to school diversity. His post-doctoral work is in the areas of Restorative Justice in Education, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience, Social Emotional Learning, and Culturally Responsive Mindfulness practices. He fulfilled the requirements for his MEd in School and Community Counseling from Virginia State University, where he concentrated in group counseling, with a keen focus on African American males affected by gun violence. Ram received Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology from Virginia State University and Science Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Bhagat is currently serving as Manager of School Climate and Culture Strategy for Richmond Public Schools. His primary role is to envision, design, and connect trauma informed practices and restorative practices to schools and communities throughout the district. He intends to help lead RPS and its partners in the creation of a sustainable and transformative paradigm of equitable and just learning environments for all students.

Dr. Bhagat is an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Mennonite University’s Graduate Teacher Education program and certified trainer of Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Dr. Bhagat’s unique approach to Trauma Sensitive Restorative Practices, called Massive Resilience, is rooted in the science of yoga and de-colonized mindfulness practices.

Dr. Bhagat is actively involved in healing the effects of racial trauma within communities of color, as a leader of Emotional Emancipation Circles in Virginia. Ram was also an inaugural member of the International Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) training for trainers in Burundi, East Africa, held in August 2011. This transformative program facilitates healing community trauma, particularly trauma caused by violence, war, and genocide.

Ram is an international trainer for the Richmond Peace Education Center (RPEC) and the visionary behind the Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP), a dynamic program that is building a culture of nonviolence (ahimsa) with the city’s youth, through innovative, youth-led peacemaking initiatives. He is a master facilitator for The Conciliation Project (TCP), which uses active and challenging dramatic works to promote open and honest dialogue about racial healing, social justice, and the intersections of oppression in order to guide communities towards conciliation.

In the early 1990s, Ram co-founded Drums No Guns (DNG) world percussion ensemble to engage youth in “healing community with rhythm.” More than two decades later, the Drums No Guns, Foundation continues to work around the country with youth traumatized by gun violence, using drumming, dance, drama, and culturally responsive contemplative practices.

Ram uses the drum to unite people of all ages, of all races with innovative arts based learning experiences. This award winning science teacher created a series of original curriculum units for Yale University, through the National Initiative to Strengthen Public School Teaching. His 3D curriculum, which is based on the principles of Aesthetic Science Education and Changing Education Through the Arts, infuses drumming, dance, and drama into science and social studies curricula.

A native son of New Haven, CT, Ram lives with his blended family in Richmond, VA, where he continues to study and practice various forms of yoga with his Guru, Dr. Janeshwar Upadyay. Ram is also a certified Integral Yoga teacher and Kripalu Yoga in Schools leader.


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Rhythm is universal. I use the drum to unite people of all ages, of all races, to lead to understanding and healing. I believe there is a heartbeat that connects us all.
— Dr Ram Bhagat