Fellowship Forum: The State of the Garrison Institute Fellowship

On April 8, we shared an update on the resonance and impact of the Garrison Institute Fellowship in its first sixth months. This transformative program launched in 2020, and our inaugural cohort of Fellows will participate in a two-year fellowship journey under the direction of Dr. Angel Acosta, Director of the Garrison Institute Fellowship. Dr. Acosta was joined by some of our Fellows for this update on the state of the Garrison Institute Fellowship.

In this interactive dialogue shared above, Dr. Acosta elaborated on the quick summary he provided on the Fellowship’s first six months:

Just six months ago, the Institute entrusted me with the development and launch of our inaugural cohort. Since then, with the support of Jennifer Bloom, we have curated a powerful journey for the next generation of compassionate leaders. Our public-facing Fellowship Forums have invited us to explore the Science of Social Justice through the work of Dr. Sará King and a thought-provoking discussion on intraconnection with Dr. Dan Siegel.


In the coming months, we will host Fellowship Forums with Arawana Hayashi, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Bayo Akomolofe. These gatherings will support with enriching the social, emotional and intellectual development of each of our Fellows. We invite you to join us to share in the bounty of the resources and wisdom that will come from these gatherings. You can find more information on each of these events by visiting our calendar of events.

Privately, our program has met monthly to explore the Fellowship’s core pillars: awareness-based contemplative wisdom, the science of interconnection, generative action and collective healing. We have been in deep dialogue with Dr. Otto Scharmer, Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, and Dr. Dan Siegel on the edges of their work and how this relates to transformative social change. In our next closed meetings, we will be visited by Adrienne Maree Brown, Thomas Hubl, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Adam Horowitz, and Ari Melenciano. These engagements will support Fellows with expanding their circle of influence and content-knowledge.


Each Fellow has been working diligently on their inquiries and projects, many of which have already manifested in public offerings. I commend them for their work thus far.

The Garrison Institute Fellowship Forum is a series of conversations with extraordinary leaders with expertise and experience in awareness-based contemplative wisdom, the science of interconnection, generative action, and collective healing. Each conversation will be co-facilitated by the Garrison Institute Fellows and Fellowship Director Dr. Angel Acosta.

For the last decade, Dr. Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He holds a doctorate degree in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Acosta has supported more than educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development. After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Acosta began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing, to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. As a former trustee for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, he participated as a speaker and discussant at the Asia Pacific Forum on Holistic Education in Kyoto, Japan. He continues to consult for organizations like the NYC Department of Education, UNICEF, Columbia University and others. Over the last couple of years, he has designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience–a contemplative journey to understand structural inequality. He’s a proud member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, based at the New School. 

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