A nationally recognized thought leader, Bernard Franklin completed the Hoffman Process in June 2022.
As Bernard shares, he was a man who had blocked his emotions, feelings, and energy, and “all of those channels were ready to explode.” He was shaky. He wasn’t comfortable in his own skin. And having arrived at the world’s best educational institution and at the height of his career, he found himself profoundly needing something he could not yet name. He found it at the Hoffman Process.
Bernard beautifully shares a story from the first night of his Process. In the first few hours, something did not sit right with him. Old childhood memories were triggered. At that moment, Bernard spoke up from his belly. He said what he couldn’t say as a child. And at this moment, he was met by his Process teacher with kindness, gentleness, and the invitation to look deeper. Bernard stayed and had a profoundly transformative experience. His story is an example of how surrender to the Process does not imply or insist on acquiescence.
The recurring theme woven throughout this rich conversation with Bernard and Sharon is that of healing the wound left by a father who could not love his son in the way his son needed. Bernard takes us into the journey of healing his relationship with his father and in turn with his own masculinity.
Through his Process, Bernard was able to truly embrace the reality of his parents’ lives as they were, not as he’d wished they’d been. In this embrace, he found a deep and lasting compassion for both his parents. Consequently, the direction of his life’s work has changed. After integrating the work of the Process, Bernard realized he must follow a new path. He is now bringing his lifetime of work and his open, vulnerable heart to what he names “our world’s toughest men.”
Content Warning: This episode does mention abuse and might not be suitable for all audiences.
Dr. Bernard Franklin is a nationally recognized thought leader on issues confronting urban trauma and violence, mental health, resilience, boys’ and mens’ development, and K-12 and higher education issues. His 40-year career includes leadership at five higher education institutions and a Kansas City philanthropy.
In 2022, Bernard completed a Fellowship with Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative focused on urban mental health research, specifically on violent and marginalized urban individuals. He is the Managing Director of Uncornered, a Boston-based organization transforming urban communities into violence-free neighborhoods.
Bernard earned an MS in Counseling and Behavioral Studies from the University of South Alabama. He obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling and Higher Education Administration, with an outside emphasis in family studies from Kansas State University. Bernard earned a master’s Professional Training Certificate focused on the trauma/resilience theory model of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) from Texas Christian University. He has been a speaker, taught courses, and consulted K-12 and higher education organizations on social-emotional teaching and learning, trauma, attachment disorder, resilience, and neuroscience. Bernard served as Chaplin and a member of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs professional counseling team. He is a member of the distinguished advisory board of The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Harvard.
Bernard is a widowed and proud father of a daughter and three sons; and has seven adorable grandchildren.
Discover more about and connect with Bernard on LinkedIn.
Bernard was twice honored among the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City (1998, 2009). The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Distinguished Leadership Award for contributions to urban education. The Kansas City Downtown Council awarded him “Urban Hero” for his urban public education work. Morehouse College Research Institute presented Bernard with the “Vision Award” for “pioneering work in the area of educating men on the importance of fatherhood.”
Hoffman’s tagline: “When you’re serious about change.”
Bernard had arrived at the world’s best educational institution, Harvard.