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Angel  Acosta

Angel Acosta

Innovative Educator & Chair of the Acosta Institute for Healing-Centered Education


Dr. Angel Acosta stands as a beacon of transformative leadership, merging the disciplines of education, social justice, and mindfulness. With an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, he has dedicated his career to pioneering healing-centered education, unearthing innovative frameworks that have reshaped educational leadership and community care. Angel's visionary insights have led him to create the groundbreaking Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience. This mindfulness-based program has been instrumental in helping communities understand and address structural inequality, and it showcases his commitment to fostering a more compassionate society. Read More >

As a scholar who explores collective trauma and healing, Angel collaborates with leading academics to develop processes that facilitate community growth and transformation. His roles have included serving as a program director for CFES Brilliant Pathways and leading a global leadership study abroad program in Rome through Leadership exCHANGE—an initiative that has empowered young people to think and act both globally and locally.

Angel's presence in the speaking circuit has been marked by his participation in international forums, such as the Asia Pacific Forum on Holistic Education in Kyoto, Japan. A former trustee for the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, his speeches blend wisdom, inspiration, and practical insight, connecting audiences with essential conversations on inequality, healing, and personal and communal growth.

With a background as a proud first-generation Dominican-American, Angel's passion for nurturing transformative leaders is manifest in his role as Director of the Garrison Institute's Fellowship Program and as Creative Director at the NYC Healing Collective. His work exemplifies a commitment to intersectionality, wellness, and societal transformation.

Further underscoring his innovative spirit, Angel serves as Chair of the Acosta Institute, a digital hub focused on advancing healing-centered education and contemplative social science. His insights into leveraging technology for social change have made him a sought-after voice in modern educational reform.

Dr. Angel Acosta's multifaceted career resonates with a wide array of audiences, from educators and social activists to business leaders and community organizers. His authentic blend of wisdom, compassion, and actionable insights offers an engaging, thought-provoking experience for listeners. As a speaker, he embodies a commitment to bridging education, leadership, and social justice with mindfulness at the core, making him an inspiring choice for conferences, workshops, and seminars. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Acknowledgement Practice

What's the Business Paradigm of Tomorrow?

Connection Practice

Mindfulness & Healing in the Tech Space: From to Structural Inequality to Human Flourishing

What leadership do we need now? | Angel Acosta & Jessica Orkin

Speech Topics

Overview of Restorative & Healing-Centered Paradigm in Education: Fostering Compassionate Classrooms & Resilient Communities

In this illuminating talk, Dr. Angel Acosta guides educators, administrators, and community leaders through the burgeoning shift towards restorative and healing-centered education. As traditional educational models are increasingly being questioned for their efficacy and inclusivity, this timely session offers a detailed examination of more compassionate approaches to teaching and community building. Drawing from groundbreaking research and practical case studies, Dr. Acosta demonstrates how adopting a restorative and healing-centered paradigm can transform classrooms into spaces of resilience, inclusion, and holistic well-being. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Understand the Shift: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the shift from punitive to restorative and healing-centered models in educational settings.
  • Learn Core Principles: Familiarize themselves with the foundational principles of restorative justice and healing-centered pedagogy.
  • Embrace Emotional Wellness: Acquire tools and practices aimed at integrating emotional wellness into educational landscapes for both educators and students.
  • Engage in Best Practices: Receive practical guidance on how to implement restorative and healing-centered approaches in their classrooms or organizations.
  • Become Agents of Change: Leave with actionable steps and strategies for advocating for and implementing restorative and healing-centered paradigms in their respective educational settings.

Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality: Unpacking Structural Inequities Through Mindful Engagement

In this transformative session, Dr. Angel Acosta takes audiences on an exploratory journey to comprehend the deeply ingrained structural inequalities that have shaped societies for over 400 years. Utilizing a blend of contemplative practices, historical analysis, and interactive dialogue, the presentation aims to offer fresh perspectives on understanding systemic disparities. It serves as a catalyst for meaningful discussion and action, equipping participants with the tools to not just contemplate inequality but to become agents of social change. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Gain Historical Context: Understand the roots and historical significance of structural inequalities that have existed for centuries.
  • Acquire Mindfulness Tools: Learn contemplative practices that aid in processing the emotional and intellectual complexity of systemic inequities.
  • Cultivate Emotional Intelligence: Develop skills to engage empathetically with discussions around sensitive and often polarizing issues related to inequality.
  • Enhance Analytical Skills: Build the capacity to critically assess the mechanisms that perpetuate structural inequalities in modern society.
  • Actionable Takeaways: Leave with a set of practical strategies and a newfound sense of agency to contribute meaningfully to conversations and initiatives aimed at dismantling systemic barriers.

Employee & Educator Racial Literacy Development: Navigating the Complexity of Racial Dynamics with Skill & Sensitivity

In this compelling and interactive presentation, Dr. Angel Acosta delves into the essential topic of racial literacy for employees and educators alike. At a time when discussions about racial justice and equity are reaching a critical mass, there's a growing need for well-informed and skillful approaches to these complex issues. Drawing from a rich tapestry of academic research, lived experiences, and practical scenarios, Dr. Acosta equips attendees with the tools and frameworks to cultivate not only racial awareness but also actionable racial literacy. This session is designed to meet the needs of a diverse audience—from novices to those who are well-versed in the subject—providing a nuanced understanding of how race impacts various aspects of professional and educational settings. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Expand Understanding: Develop a robust understanding of the concept of racial literacy and its importance in today's work and educational environments.
  • Master Key Concepts: Gain clarity on key terminologies and frameworks that are essential for engaging in meaningful discussions on race.
  • Enhance Empathy: Acquire techniques for empathetic listening and respectful dialogue that can facilitate more effective and humane conversations about race.
  • Implement Practical Tools: Learn actionable strategies for developing a more racially literate and inclusive culture in their workplace or classroom.
  • Address Bias: Understand how unconscious biases operate and learn strategies for mitigating their influence in decision-making and interactions.
  • Measure Progress: Discover metrics and indicators that can help assess the progress of racial literacy development initiatives in their respective settings.

Mindfulness & Contemplative Practices in Tumultuous Times: Finding Inner Peace Amidst Outer Chaos

In this captivating and timely session, Dr. Angel Acosta explores the art and science of mindfulness and contemplative practices as powerful tools for navigating the complexities of our turbulent era. With stressors ranging from political unrest to a global health crisis, many are seeking practical approaches to cope with heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Drawing upon neuroscience, psychology, and the wisdom traditions, Dr. Acosta demystifies how our minds and bodies react to stress and offers actionable steps to cultivate inner peace and resilience. This talk is designed to benefit a broad audience, whether you're new to mindfulness or looking to deepen your practice. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Understand Mindfulness: Gain a fundamental understanding of what mindfulness and contemplative practices are and why they are essential tools for modern living.
  • Recognize Stress Responses: Develop awareness of how the body and mind respond to stress and how this impacts emotional well-being and decision-making.
  • Learn Coping Mechanisms: Acquire a set of mindfulness techniques and coping mechanisms to manage and mitigate the effects of stress and anxiety.
  • Integrate Practices: Learn how to incorporate mindfulness and contemplative practices into daily routines, whether in personal life or in a professional setting.
  • Build Resilience: Understand the role of mindfulness in building emotional and psychological resilience, enabling better coping with challenges and uncertainties.
  • Measure Outcomes: Discover practical ways to assess the efficacy of mindfulness and contemplative practices, using both subjective and objective measures.

Youth Development in a Rapidly Changing World: Preparing the Next Generation for Unprecedented Challenges & Opportunities

In this inspiring and impactful session, Dr. Angel Acosta delves into the complexities and challenges of nurturing youth in a world marked by rapid technological advances, environmental crises, and shifting cultural dynamics. With an eye towards equity and inclusion, Dr. Acosta offers a multi-dimensional view on empowering young people to not just succeed, but also to thrive in a global landscape that is in constant flux. Drawing from his extensive experience in educational leadership, social justice, and mindfulness, this talk offers actionable insights for parents, educators, and community leaders committed to fostering the development of resilient, competent, and compassionate young people. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Comprehend Current Challenges: Understand the unique set of challenges and opportunities that today's youth face in a rapidly changing world.
  • Discover Developmental Pillars: Learn about the essential pillars of youth development, such as cognitive, emotional, and social skills, that are vital for succeeding in today’s landscape.
  • Promote Equity and Inclusion: Acquire strategies to ensure that youth development initiatives are inclusive and equitable, catering to diverse backgrounds and needs.
  • Utilize Technology Wisely: Gain insights into leveraging technology as a tool for enhanced learning and development, while also mitigating its potential downsides.
  • Build Resilience and Adaptability: Understand methods to cultivate resilience and adaptability in young people, equipping them to better handle future challenges.

Wellness, Mental Health & Resilience from a Mindfulness Perspective: A Holistic Approach to Thriving in the Modern Workforce

In today's fast-paced and demanding work environment, the pressures of staying ahead often take a toll on employee well-being and mental health. In this transformative session, Dr. Angel Acosta provides valuable insights into how mindfulness techniques can be seamlessly integrated into daily work routines to enhance productivity, well-being, and resilience. Rooted in empirical research and personal practice, this talk is designed for business leaders, HR professionals, and individual contributors who are invested in creating a healthier, more inclusive and resilient work environment. Read More >

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Grasp Core Concepts: Understand the principles of mindfulness and its applicability in enhancing mental health and overall well-being in the workplace.
  • Mindfulness Meets Workforce: Examine how mindfulness can play a role in employee wellness programs and individual stress management strategies.
  • Identify Workplace Stressors: Learn to identify specific stressors unique to modern work environments and how mindfulness practices can offer coping mechanisms.
  • Engage in Practice: Participate in brief, workplace-friendly mindfulness exercises that can be incorporated into the workday to reduce stress and enhance focus.
  • Holistic Wellness at Work: Recognize how mindfulness contributes to a broader spectrum of workplace wellness, including emotional intelligence, team dynamics, and leadership skills.
  • Building Resilience: Gain practical techniques to cultivate emotional and mental resilience among team members, enhancing overall productivity and work satisfaction.