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October 15, 2020

Virtual Retreat: Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality

This communal practice is a guided contemplative walk through a little over four centuries of U.S history. It is an opportunity to reckon with our past together for the purpose of our collective healing. Through interactive dialogue, mindful listening and contemplative practices, we will acknowledge and deepen our understanding of entrenched racial and socio-economic inequality. With the eruption of protests in response to police brutality and the enduring legacy of racialized inequality in the U.S., collective trauma and grief work have become incessant. This experience will create a container for a community of learners to come together to find support and engage in candid dialogue. Using the 400 Years of Inequality Timeline as a contemplative tool, participants will reflect on how this history lives inside of them and their communities.

Harnessing the power of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to U.S. soil in 1619, this experience invites us to integrate the shadows of our history. Right now, there is a palpable hunger for learning experiences that bring people together to engage in difficult conversations. This communal practice leverages contemplative and mindfulness-based practices to support participants with re-imagining how we can transcend both implicit bias and structural inequality in order to build a more compassionate society. Each participant will leave feeling a strong sense of community and with access to resources for how to integrate the timeline into their personal and professional practice.

This Virtual Retreat will be conducted on Zoom from 6:00pm – 8:00pm EST on Thursday, October 15, 2020. The virtual retreat link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of your registration. Registration closes at 4:00pm EST on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.


For the last decade, 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 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. He is currently the Director of the Garrison Institute’s Fellowship Program.

Registration Options

1 - Standard Registration
2 - Subsidized Registration