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Dr. Angel Acosta

A portrait of Angel Acosta looking at the camera.

Dr. Angel Acosta is a healing-centered educator and scholar who has taken basic ideas of the 400 years project and tested their limits in the realms of mindfulness and collective healing. He has developed workshops that combine exploration of the 400 years timeline with meditation and breathwork. Angel led contemplative meditations in 400 Years workshops, at the 2019 and 2020 symposiums, and during the 2019 observance at The Riverside Church, Stolen Hands, Stolen Lands: From 1619 to a Just Future.


Dr. Acosta works to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice & mindfulness. He completed his Ed.D. in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development and community care. As a member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, he designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience to support communities with understanding structural inequality through a mindfulness-based and contemplative approach. With an interest in better understanding collective trauma, he is currently collaborating with other scholars to develop group processes for collective healing. Angel is also the host and creative director of the NYC Healing Collective podcast.


You can view Angel’s work at

Dr. Margaux Simmons

Margaux Simmons plays a flute reading from sheet music on a stand.

Dr. Margaux Simmons is a composer, flutist, improvisor, and music educator. She studied with Cecil Taylor at Antioch College and Pauline Oliveros and Will Ogden at UC San Diego. She is a founding member of The Pyramids and has traveled, composed, studied and performed music extensively in Tennessee, Ohio, New York, California, Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, England, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Jamaica, South Dakota, and New Jersey. She worked as Professor of Music at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA., 1987 – 2007, and as a Curator of The Museum at Wounded Knee, in South Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 2007-2010. Since 2013 she has worked with the University of Orange, teaching UofO’s longest running community class, Music Theory, and co-directing the Music City project.

Listen to more original compositions by Margaux on Soundcloud.

Contemplating 400 Years:
Getting Grounded
Dr. Angel Acosta gazes at an audience silently with blue light around him.
Margaux Simmons holds a bouquet of flowers, smiling, in front of a chorus on risers.

Left: Dr. Angel Acosta leads a meditation at The Riverside Church, NYC.  Right: Dr. Margaux Simmons debuts an original composition at Remembering Rosa: A Concert for Peace.

America’s history with inequality spans four centuries, which can be overwhelming. 


To start you on your journey, organizer Dr. Angel Acosta collaborated with composer Dr. Margaux Simmons to create this “Seven Generations Meditation”, a contemplative practice that helps us be present for the difficult work of learning from our history—and envisioning the future. 


So, find a comfortable seat, press play, and close your eyes.


Seven Generations Meditation
00:00 / 07:57
A portrait of Angel Acosta looking at the camera.
Margaux Simmons plays a flute reading from sheet music on a stand.

Dr. Angel Acosta and Dr. Margaux Simmons

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