ACMHE Conferences


The 7th Annual ACMHE Conference:

Building Just Communities

October 8 – 11, 2015
Howard University, Washington, DC
Proposals accepted through Friday, May 15, 2015

Call for Proposals | Proposal Submission Guidelines | Session Types | 2015 Conference Committee

Submit a Proposal

The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) has convened conferences annually since 2009. These gatherings explore the many ways that contemplative practices support teaching, learning, and knowing in higher education.

Our 7th conference, Building Just Communities, will be held at Howard University in Washington, D.C., October 8-11, 2015. We are currently accepting presentation proposals through May 15th. Registration and further information will be available soon at

Call for Proposals

The 7th Annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference will explore contemplative approaches to creating and sustaining just communities: approaches that foster connection while recognizing and honoring difference, with a commitment to the common flourishing of all. These approaches should examine the profound ways in which our social locations within higher education–based on age, gender, sexual orientation, discipline, ability, religion, race, social/economic class, nationality, contemplative tradition–affect and are affected by differing levels of advantage or disadvantage. As we recognize our interdependence and our responsibilities to one another, we can cultivate more ethical, compassionate, and more socially just communities.

We often see contemplative approaches as practices focused inward, as forms of self-inquiry and reflection for fostering intrapersonal development. However, we also know that they arise out of and influence broader human relations, developing and sustaining greater interpersonal connection. What is this connection? How can interpersonal connection be nurtured, especially in the service of social justice and the creation of “beloved communities” like those envisioned by Josiah Royce and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Presentation proposals might address questions such as:

  • How can we use contemplative approaches to create beloved community in our institutions of higher education?
  • What have social movements (past and present) taught us about building just communities and the use of contemplative practices in creating a just world?
  • How can contemplative practices help us honor differences between us, recognizing the sociopolitical dynamics that so often accompany those differences?
  • What is the responsibility of contemplative pedagogy with regard to social justice initiatives/movements?
  • How can contemplative communities do the work of unsettling oppression, both within the communities and outside of them? How can we be guided by the work of contemplative and spiritually-based communities throughout history?
  • How can we inspire students to engage in just community building through contemplative pedagogy?
  • How can these initiatives more effectively engage marginalized students?

Proposal Submission Guidelines

  • Professionals from all areas of higher education, including faculty, graduate students, staff, and administrators, are invited to submit proposals for consideration.
  • Proposals must indicate a session type: interactive, practice, panel, or poster. Please refer to the session descriptions (below) for more information.
  • Proposals must describe the planned structure of their session, such as the use of visuals, materials, interactive practices or exercises, Q & A/discussion, etc.
  • The submission deadline is Friday, May 15, 2015 at midnight PDT (-07:00 UTC).
  • The conference committee will begin reviewing proposals after May 15. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by June 9.
  • Proposals will be reviewed and selected by the conference committee.
  • All accepted presenters must be members of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and become paid registrants of the conference. If you are accepted as a presenter, but are not yet an ACMHE member, you may join the ACMHE before the conference.

Session Types

  • 60-Minute Interactive Sessions allow opportunities for presenters to share research and methodologies in ways that engage the session participants and model contemplative modes of inquiry. They may feature one or more lead presenters incorporating a variety of interactive methods (dialogue, guided discussion, etc.), with minimal time spent in lecture-style presenting. Interactive sessions may also take the form of a roundtable discussion in which the organizer proposes a concept, approach, or issue, and participants are invited to share in an open inquiry. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.
  • 60-Minute Practice Sessions focus on particular practices and invite participants to experience them as designed or adapted for educational settings, allowing time for discussion. We encourage a full variety of practices from stillness to movement, silence to sound, interpersonal to intrapersonal, etc.
  • 75-Minute Panel Sessions, moderated and organized by a lead presenter, invite multiple panelists to present brief, focused perspectives on a topic and allow time for extended discussion. Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector and screen, may be requested.
  • Poster Presentations offer an opportunity to speak informally with a large number of colleagues and display some aspects of your work visually on a poster. Each poster presenter will be supplied with an easel and a 3′x4′ poster board. Posters are presented simultaneously in a one-hour session. No audio-visual equipment is available for Poster Presentations.

Submit a Proposal

2015 Conference Committee

Kakali Bhattacharya
Kansas State University

Beth Berila
St. Cloud State University

Stephanie Briggs
Community College of Baltimore County

Jennifer Cannon
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michelle Chatman
University of the District of Columbia

Bradford Grant
Howard University

Mary Dolores Guerra
Arizona State University

Renee Harrison
Howard University

Paul Wapner
American University

Daniel Barbezat
Conference Director
Amherst College
& The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Jennifer Palmer
Conference Coordinator
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society



Past Conference Programs


2014 Conference Program

2014 Conference:
Intention, Method, and Evaluation (.pdf)


2013 ACMHE Conference Program

2013 Conference:
Integrity of Practice: A Contemplative Vision for Higher Education (.pdf)


2012 Conference:
Contemplative Approaches in the Diverse Academic Community: Inquiry, Connection, Creativity, and Insight (.pdf)


2011 Conference Program

2011 Conference:
The Contemplative Campus (.pdf)


2010 Conference Program

2010 Conference:
The Contemplative Academy (.pdf)


2009 Conference Program

2009 Conference:
The Contemplative Heart of Higher Education (.pdf)


2012 ACMHE Conference Keynote

Contemplating Race, Law, and Justice: Some Notes on Pedagogy for Changing the World

Rhonda V. Magee, Chair of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of San Francisco