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January 27, 2022

Fellowship Forum: Walking the Path of Freedom and Justice with an Open Heart

Join us for this Garrison Institute Fellowship Forum, where we invite Kate Johnson, author of Radical Friendship, and Kaira Jewel Lingo, author of We Were Made for These Times, in a conversation about their new books, hosted/moderated by Dr. Angel Acosta.

Themes they will explore from their books include:
• How to come home to ourselves and make friends with ourselves
• How to cultivate an open and friendly heart, even toward those we find difficult
• Practices that support us to challenge racial injustice
• The power of equanimity and inclusiveness in the face of injustice
• How a black and bi-racial identity has shaped them and their dharma-justice work.

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 facilitated by a Garrison Institute Fellows or Fellowship Director Dr. Angel Acosta.

Audience members will have a front seat to a compelling discussion and have the opportunity to engage in the dialogue by asking direct questions and participating in small group breakout sessions. These gatherings will be a rich and inspiring opportunity to hear updates on the GI Fellowship, while also joining a community of people who are interested in exploring the aforementioned topics.

This forum will be a live meeting, which will be conducted on Zoom at 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 27th. The meeting link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Please email us at events@garrisoninstitute.org with questions.

Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Black and biracial meditation and mindfulness teacher with a lifelong interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. She grew up in Chicago and Nairobi and after earning an MA in Anthropology and Social Sciences, at the age of twenty-five she entered a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and spent fifteen years living as a nun under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She received Lamp Transmission and became a Zen teacher in 2007, and is also a teacher in the Vipassana Insight lineage through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Today she sees her work as a continuation of the Engaged Buddhism developed by Thich Nhat Hanh as well as the work of her parents, inspired by their stories and her dad’s work with Martin Luther King Jr. on desegregating the South. In addition to writing We Were Made for These Times: Skilfully Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption, she is also the editor of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children. Now based in New York, she teaches and leads retreats internationally, provides spiritual mentoring, and interweaves art, play, nature, racial and earth justice, and embodied mindfulness practice in her teaching. She especially feels called to share the Dharma with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as activists, educators, youth, artists, and families. Visit kairajewel.com to learn more.

Kate Johnson is a meditation teacher, facilitator, and author of Radical Friendship: Seven Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World. She teaches classes and retreats integrating Buddhist meditation, somatics, social justice and creativity at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, the Kripalu Center, the Omega Institute, the Rubin Museum NYC, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. When she’s not teaching the dharma, Kate contracts with organizations to help them achieve greater equity and sustainability in their inner and outer work. In addition, she is an utterly unprofessional dancer and performer who earned a BFA in Dance from The Alvin Ailey School/Fordham University and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. www.katejohnson.com

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.

Your support matters. Our vision for a more just, compassionate world has never felt more urgent. While we cannot share physical space together, we remain committed to a shared practice of social and spiritual care. We are thankful for the support to create a virtual sanctuary during this time. Your donations help to expand the Fellowship’s program offerings. If you feel called to support our work, we welcome your tax-deductible contribution towards our efforts. Please consider making a donation below.

Registration Options

1 - Supporter (suggested donation) (Donation)
2 - Participant