Certificate Program


Healing-Centered Education  


April 28th, 2024 – June 30th, 2024

At Acosta Institute, we envision a world where education fosters healing and growth. As a for-purpose organization, we are dedicated to promoting healing-centered education through comprehensive courses, engaging workshops, thought-provoking summits, and our international conference. Our mission is to cultivate a vibrant community of scholars, practitioners, and lifelong learners who can revolutionize education through healing-centered approaches. We dream of a world where both children and adults are empowered to thrive amidst adversities, fortified by an education system that heals, uplifts, and empowers.

Sign Up Today

Program Description:

The Healing-Centered Education Certificate Program is a 2-month (60 hours) transformative professional and personal development journey designed for K-12 educators, higher education faculty and education consultants who wish to deepen their expertise in building and facilitating healing-centered cultures in their organizations and schools. Our Certificate Program empowers participants as a catalyst for Healing-Centered Cultures with the skills and knowledge necessary to teach and lead effectively and empathetically–fostering a nurturing, inclusive, and empowering learning environment in any context.

The program is designed to transform the way we teach and learn by centering healing and collective flourishing. We focus on empowering participants with a holistic approach that prioritizes their wellbeing, while also equipping them with the facilitation skills to delicately address and explore the pervasive effects of systemic oppression and trauma on their organizations and schools. Our program is designed to bring about a profound transformation in participants’ approach, mindset and skill set.


  • Equip participants with skills to create healing-centered, trauma-informed, culturally responsive learning environments
  • Foster a community of practitioners who are ready to cultivate deep relationships and connections in order to reduce feelings of isolation and burnout
  • Enhance participants’ understanding of the theories, research and applications of healing-centered pedagogy
  • Ground participants in a robust historical context regarding collective trauma and its impact on schools and organizational life
  • Revitalize participants by fostering an increased sense of motivation, inspiration, hope, resilience, and perseverance
  • Support each participant with developing a unique framework and action plan for turning program insights into impact

Program Structure

The program consists of 6 modules that are taught throughout 11 weeks. Each module includes a pre-recorded workshop, live instruction sessions with faculty during weekends, optional spaces to process in community and comprehensive workbooks with corresponding learning materials for each module. All learning materials, recordings, links to live sessions and a library of resources will be curated in a unique program digital dashboard.

Below are the themes that will be explored throughout the program:

  • Exploring Practices & Theories for Building Healing-Centered Cultures
  • Thriving and Human Flourishing Across the Lifespan: Theory & Practice
  • Trauma-Informed Pedagogy and Healing-Centered Reflective Practices
  • Exploring Racial & Collective Healing through Indigenous Wisdom and Restorative Practices
  • Healing Through the Archaeology of Self: Reflective Practice for Transforming Self and Society
  • Healing-Centered & Contemplative-Based Systems Change
  • Social Emotional Learning & Inner Work
  • Mindfulness & Embodiment Practices for Staying Grounded
  • Compassionate and Contemplative Leadership
  • Play, Slow Work & Joy as Practice
  • Healing-Centered Leadership & Contemplative-Based Systems Change
Sign up Today
Liquid error: Nil location provided. Can't build URI.


The program will officially run from April 28th to June 30th, with an optional retreat at the Garrison Institute during the weekend of April 19th and April 21st. All live instruction sessions with faculty will be hosted on Sundays and will be recorded as well. There will be two optional practice and integration sessions to participate in discussions and networking opportunities. To respect participants’ privacy only the practice section of these meetings will be recorded and added to the program dashboard.


See Detailed Program Calendar



It is expected that participants will dedicate between 5 to 7 hours per week exploring learning materials and watching asynchronously or participating in live instruction sessions. The program dashboard will contain everything needed to catch up and rewatch and content. Participants are expected to submit a reflection essay and a framework-action plan in order to receive the program’s Certificate of Completion. Ample support will be provided to ensure that everyone has what they need to successfully complete the program.

Optional Retreat at the Garrison Institute

A week before the program formally begins, we will host a healing-centered education retreat at the incredibly serene Garrison Institute. A significant discount will be provided for retreat registration. The retreat will serve as an orientation and comprehensive community building. A virtual orientation session will be hosted for participants who can’t attend in-person.

Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the Healing-Centered Education Certificate Program, participants will be awarded a custom Healing-Centered Education Program Certificate from the Acosta Institute. This certificate signifies participants’ proficiency in fostering trauma-informed and healing-centered learning environments. It is a testament to their dedication to creating nurturing, inclusive, and empowering educational spaces. With this certificate, participants emerge as catalysts for Healing-Centered Cultures, equipped with the skills and knowledge to teach and lead in more effectively and empathetically.


In our current educational landscape, we are confronted with a multifaceted crisis that stretches from the public school system to the corporate world. The legacy of segregation, attempts to privatize education, economic disparities, and the ongoing repercussions of the global pandemic have left an indelible mark on education. Simultaneously, organizations and companies grapple with their own challenges, from issues related to employee well-being and engagement to navigating a rapidly changing societal landscape.

In schools, educators find themselves on the front lines of this complex societal upheaval. They bear the weight of nurturing students who face a myriad of adversities, including hunger, exposure to toxic environments, and the trauma of active shooter drills. These dedicated educators often face resource shortages, unmet professional development needs, and the daunting task of addressing the unique needs of a diverse student body. The result is a growing epidemic of burnout among educators, leading to a concerning exodus from the profession.
For those who persist, their unwavering commitment comes at a cost, with visible signs of suffering and exhaustion that inevitably affect their ability to provide the best possible learning experience for their students. The consequences of this crisis extend far beyond the classroom, impacting the well-being, learning, and opportunities of students. This underscores the urgent need for comprehensive solutions that leverage healing-centered practices to build thriving classrooms, cultures and institutions.

Whether you are an educator in a school setting or a professional in the corporate world, the challenges we face demand innovative and healing-centered approaches. Our program offers a unique opportunity to explore these solutions and equip yourself with the tools to foster healing-centered learning environments, whether in the classroom or within your organization.

The Healing-Centered Education Certificate Program offers an invaluable professional development opportunity for educators and leaders who are catalyzing Healing-Centered cultures in their communities and environments. Our program equips participants with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of healing-centered education and the skills required to apply these principles in their classrooms and workplaces. Participants will learn alongside educators and leaders and co-create a transformative community shaping the future of education. By joining us, you contribute to the shaping of an educational future—one that heals, empowers, and fosters resilience in the face of adversity.

About Acosta Institute

At Acosta Institute, we envision a world where education fosters healing, growth and honors humanity. As a for-purpose organization, we are dedicated to promoting healing-centered education through comprehensive courses, engaging workshops, thought-provoking summits, and our international conference. Our mission is to cultivate a vibrant community of scholars, practitioners, and lifelong learners who can revolutionize education through healing-centered approaches. We dream of a world where both children and adults are empowered to thrive amidst adversities, fortified by an education system that heals, uplifts, and empowers.

Program Core Faculty

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

Yolanda is graduate of NYU and Columbia University, and is a Professor of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Yolanda is a sought-after speaker on educational equity issues, author of numerous academic articles, co-editor of four books, and co-author of the multiple award-winning book Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces where she examines her concept of Archeology of Self™ in education.

At Teachers College, she is founder of the Racial Literacy Roundtables Series where for 15 years, national scholars, teachers, and students facilitate conversations around race and other issues involving diversity. Yolanda has appeared in several documentaries including Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright” (2016), a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests at Mizzou.

Her first full-length collection of poetry, Love from the Vortex & Other Poems, was published in March 2020. Her sophomore book of poetry, The Peace Chronicles, was published in July, 2021. Showcasing the interdisciplinary nature of her work, Yolanda's poetry books have gained recognition and been embraced by jazz and avant-garde classical musicians. Beyond her artistic pursuits, Dr. Sealey-Ruiz's Archeology of Self™theory and practice concept has been presented to thousands of educators and educational leaders both within the United States and other countries.

Dr. Angel Acosta

For the last decade, Dr. 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 more than 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 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. Lately, he has become curious about the ways in which technology can be used as a force for advancing racial equity and dismantling structural inequality. He currently serves as the Chair of the Acosta Institute.

Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond

Kia Darling-Hammond (she/they) holds a doctorate in developmental and psychological sciences in education, is author of the Bridge to Thriving FrameworkŠ, co-author of The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning: Five Essentials for Equity, and co-editor of T* is for Thriving: Blueprints for Affirming Trans* and Gender Creative Lives and Learning in Schools. As CEO of the research and education firm WiseChipmunk LLC, she leverages over 25 years of experience in youth development, education, and organizational leadership to offer healing-centered research, advising, coaching, counseling, and public speaking, as well as designs for professional learning, curriculum development, and organizational growth.

Dr. Darling-Hammond’s work emphasizes the importance of combining the science of learning and development with healing justice and transformative justice to promote an evolution toward thriving for all. This approach is grounded in the knowledge that innovation driven by the wisdom of those furthest from power is key to improving everyone’s lives.

Dr. Darling-Hammond has published work in Equity and Excellence in Education, Liberal Education, Nonprofit Quarterly, and The Lancet, and serves as a member of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman’s Black Mental Health Brain Trust, is a contributing scholar and advisor to the Sports Equity Lab at Yale, and sits on the Wild Seed Liberation Land Board of Directors.

Solana Booth

Her Indian names are Solana, IshDàĀNaWäŠe and Łaxłenblu. As a Pacific NW Traditional Medicine Keeper, her vision is to open her own “Re-Cover Me in Wellness Center”. Ms. Booth serves us by her roles as Co-Chair of American Psychedelic Practitioners Association, Executive Director of Transitioning Offenders Program and founder of Advocates Of Sacred.

She promotes First Nations and Native American traditional teachings using multiple healing modalities such as: Traditional Canoe Family Skipper, Speaker/Doer of Ancient knowings, Traditional Ceremonies, Traditional artist, hunter & gatherer, Family violence and Recovery Specialist, Generational Brain-spotting Practitioner, Somatic Archeology Practitioner, First Foods’, Plant Medicine and Lactation Educator, Birth and Death work, Storytelling or first narratives and her Positive Interconnectedness model.

Miss Booth is enrolled into the Nooksack Nation of the Chief Dan George Family and Mohawk from Bay Quinte where the peacekeeper was born, White Owl House of the Wolf Clan. Her Paternal association is Tsymsyan of the Violet Booth Family, Raven Clan. She is a mother of nine and Grandmother of two baby girls.

Dr. Latise Hairston

Latise Hairston practices the ethos of "Sawubona," a Zulu term that translates to "We see you," infusing this principle of deep recognition into her work. As a devoted mother, doula, coach, poet, community healer, and Founder and Chief Impact Officer of Harvesting Opportunities with People Everywhere (HOPE), LLC and The Abundant Life Doula, her dedication to communal healing and a collaborative approach to advocacy are evident.

Latise has served as the Global Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in an organization in over thirty countries. She has a proven track record of designing and managing large-scale culture transformation projects, overseeing the entire implementation cycle, including within a multi-billion-dollar hospitality company. Her work has impacted the non-profit, corporate, and educational realms, where she champions spirituality intertwined with social justice. Latise’s work centers on healing justice- healing from the trauma of racism while interrogating systems of oppression.

 Latise's methodology extends beyond observation to participatory engagement, validating the stories and existence of others and fostering a collective sense of belonging and healing. Her strategic initiatives in culture transformation within multiple enterprises showcase her commitment to not just leading but co-creating spaces where everyone is genuinely seen and valued, reinforcing the communal fabric with every endeavor.

Her academic background includes an M.S. in Counseling and Human Services, an M.S. in Creativity and Change Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy (with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Development. Latise serves as an adjunct faculty at Fielding University.

Arlène Elizabeth Casimir

Arlène Elizabeth Casimir is a Brooklyn-based author, educator, and healing artist. As a first-generation Haitian-American, she recognizes the power of community, equity, literacy, and spiritual resilience to help others live with personal integrity, transcend their circumstances, and author their own lives.

Arlène has spent the last 15 years honing her practice and research. Her classroom served as a lab site and model for transformative teaching. She created, designed, and implemented culturally responsive, healing-centered, spiritually grounded, and trauma-informed curriculum for her students. Her experiences teaching middle school in New York City, elementary school in New Orleans- to the first students to come to school post-Hurricane Katrina, and then working as a teacher educator, awakened her purpose to nurture the authentic core and the inner teacher in others.

Arlène enjoys partnering with and supporting businesses, community organizations, foundations, individuals and schools, both nationally and globally, to do the necessary inner work for equitable outer change. She goes by "the awakened teacher" and is the CEO and founder of Reveye, LLC (pronounced rev-ai-yay and which means to awaken in her mother tongue Haitian-Creole.) Reveye is an educational consultancy and learning collaborative. Her book entitled “Trauma Responsive Pedagogy: Teaching for Healing and Transformation” was released in May 2023.

Arlène’s forthcoming children’s book “Back Home: Story time with My Father” will be released in April 2024.
She is currently studying Clinical Psychology and Education with a concentration in Spirituality Mind Body Practices at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Digital Infrastructure & Care Team

Maria Tan

Maria Tan is a first generation Filipino-American, educator, facilitator and consultant committed to serving communities through healing-centered education.

She is a former Bronx high school science teacher where her direct experience of healing from teacher burnout inspired her to launch the Thriving Teacher Project in 2020, creating restorative spaces for educators during the height of the pandemic. She is now the founder of House of Thriving where she works closely with healing-centered thought leaders to help nurture their vision and bring their ideas to life.

Her expertise includes designing and delivering courses and summits, producing and hosting podcasts, creative and strategic visioning, and curriculum/program research, analysis and evaluation. Some of her training includes restorative circle facilitation, trauma-informed mindfulness and somatic healing practices. As a passion project, she collaborates with her two older brothers to create offerings centered on intergenerational healing.

Drisana McDaniel

Drisana McDaniel, a healing-centered facilitator, educator, writer, and transformation activist, operates under the banner The Alchemy of Now. Her work delves into both individual and collective experiences, examining them through the lenses of embodiment, the social self, and psychospirituality, with a vision centered on achieving transformational justice through contemplation and meaningful action.

As a co-founder of the Transformative Teaching Collective, Drisana offers guidance to organizations and communities, emphasizing generative conflict resolution, social justice education, empathy, non-violence practice, and collaboration, with the ultimate goal of radiating freedom and vitality through liberation and awakening. She curates workshops, seminars, and events exploring the potential unlocked through radical interconnectedness.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and Sociology, a Master of Arts in Women, Gender, Social Justice, and Spirituality, and a pursuit of a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Women's Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Drisana's expertise extends to her role as a senior researcher at the Acosta Institute.

Paola Maliza

Paola Maliza is an administrative assistant with over five years of experience in the sports industry, working alongside public and private entities.

Prior to her role as EA, Paola designed a business plan to promote sports as a formative activity for pre-teens and teenagers alongside with partners in Ecuador. She began her career in business administration as administrative assistant and eventually into administrator of a swim club, and assistant to project management in large scale events.

Joshua Feliz Martinez

Joshua Feliz Martinez (He/They) is an Apprentice at the Institute. He is a facilitator experienced in designing and creating racial equity/healing spaces that centers the humanity of anyone in it. Those experiencing these spaces learn tools and language that build solidarity, empowerment, and community engagement. As a Spanish-speakingSpanish speaking, first-generation immigrant, Joshua was raised in both the Dominican Republic and in The Bronx, New York. 

Prior to fully being a facilitator in the DEI/Racial Equity field. Joshua worked in the nonprofit sector as a Cultural Navigator/Community organizer to Spanish-speaking families in the West-End of Colorado. Assisting the community in healthcare enrollments, community outreach, and other interpersonal needs, in addition to co-facilitating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainings to organizations in the West-End. 

Joshua joined the Kahakulei Institute and his mentor Kevin J. Fong in 2021 to further create and facilitate spaces of belonging with organizations and community members across the United States. Partnering with communities and facilitating spaces for healing and building bridges has been a gift for Joshua since he is able to weave tools, stories, frameworks, and lived experiences to address intersectional oppression and center marginalized communities. His love for people, culture, and belonging enables him to connect with people and strive for a better tomorrow. He currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Makeda Gershenson

Makeda Gershenson is an Apprentice at the Institute. She is also the Founder of Good Better Best. Makeda is certified as an emotional intelligence educator, academic coach for teens and a digital behavioral coach. Her collaboration with Milwaukie High School’s after-school program was awarded the 2016 Changemakers Award from Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence. As a staff developer for Morningside Center, Makeda supported New York City schools to implement and sustain restorative practices onsite. One school site reported an 80% decrease in Level 4 and 5 incidents and a 66.7% decrease in suspensions. She has been a leading Mindfulness coach on habit formation platform, Coach.me, for 6 years, individually coaching over 400 clients from 32 states and 37 countries.

Makeda is also a professional performer, having traveled internationally to perform both music and dance. Some of her New York musical venues include the Delacorte Theatre and Carnegie Hall. Makeda received dual degrees from Stanford University as well as a Masters in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

Pricing & Registration


 We want to make this experience as accessible as possible. We offer the tiers below and encourage you to contribute based on your relative financial needs & standing. Explore our FAQs for additional details.


Our program is full and closed for this round.  

Subsidized Supported Tuition 


✔ Reduced tuition rate

✔ Access to Full Program including Dashboard with Learning Materials & Recordings

Sold Out

Regular Tuition


✔ Access to Full Program Dashboard with Learning Materials & Recordings

✔ Unlock 30% Discount off of Certificate Program for Friend or Colleague

✔ Contribute to community scholarship fund to enable others to participate

✔ 50% discount for registration for optional in-person retreat at the Garrison Institute April 19th-21st  


Patron Paying-It-Forward


✔ 50% discount for a friend or colleague interested in registering for the program 

✔ Contribute to community scholarship fund to enable others to participate

✔ Receive a 2024 Acosta Institute Passport to access all virtual programs for free 

✔ Free registration for optional in-person retreat at the Garrison Institute April 19th-21st  




Multiple Registrations

Would you like to purchase multiple tickets for a large group? 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)