Featured Speakers

  • Rhonda V. Magee
    Professor of Law, University of San Francisco
  • Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez
    Founders and Directors of the Holistic Life Foundation

In addition to plenary sessions, the 2015 ACMHE conference will include over 60 parallel presentations, offering examples of how contemplative practices are being used in higher education through lectures, discussions, panels, practical and interactive demonstrations, as well as a poster session.

Rhonda V. MageeRhonda V. Magee, JD is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. She has just completed a term as Visiting Scholar with the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She teaches Torts; Contemporary Issues of Race and Law; and Contemplative Lawyering. She has served on the Executive Board of the American Association of Law Schools section on Balance in Legal Education, and is presently the President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. She has published widely on issues related to race and justice, and on the infusion of mindfulness into law and legal education. Her teaching, scholarship and service commitments all reflect her pioneering efforts to transform legal education and society in recognition of the richness and the challenges of diversity of all kinds in the 21st century. She seeks to co-create with others, a fully inclusive world community, capable of managing its conflicts and distributing its resources compassionately, equitably and sustainability through contemplative practice and the power of love.


Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez are the founders and directors of the Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through a comprehensive approach which helps children develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care HLF demonstrates deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. HLF is also committed to developing high-quality evidence based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being.

Ali SmithAli Smith Co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the Friends School of Baltimore. He attended college at the University of Maryland College Park where he graduated with a BS in Environmental Science and Policy. Learning yoga and meditation from his parents, and visiting ashrams as a child, he has over 13 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work with HLF he has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs with at-risk youth, at drug treatment centers, mental crisis facilities, and in many other underserved communities around the world. He is a certified yoga instructor and has authored a series of children’s books, and co-authored several yoga and mindfulness-based curricula, as well as numerous workshops and trainings.

Atman SmithAtman Smith is a Co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, where after 10 years of serving as Director of Youth Programming, he currently serves as the Director of Fundraising. He is also Co-Founder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment, LLC. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and attended Friends School of Baltimore for twelve years, but graduated from Baltimore’s Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School. He went on to attend the University of Maryland, College Park where he was a letter award winner for the Men’s basketball team and received a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. His parents were yogis and taught him contemplative practices as a very young child. For the past thirteen years he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to many diverse populations.

Andres GonzalezAndres Gonzalez is a trained and certified yoga instructor. He has been the Co-Founder and Marketing Manager for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. in Baltimore, MD since 2001. He is also Co-Founder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment, LLC. For twelve years, Andres has taught yoga to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, colleges, and other various venues. For the past two years, he has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is the co-author of a high school physical education curriculum based on yoga principles. He maintains a B.S. in Marketing from University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.