HCE Primer









Hosted by Maria Tan, Drisana McDaniel & Dr. Angel Acosta



You are invited to join us.

Inside of the Healing-Centered Education (HCE) Primer you’ll gain a broad scope understanding of the current landscape of restorative work happening at the intersection of healing, mindfulness, and social justice, while contributing to the evolution of this dynamic field. The Primer is delivered over the course of two live sessions and two weeks of robust community support and discourse.


These are the general themes explored in each session:


Situating the Restorative Turn         


Weaving Restorative Approaches From Across Disciplines

This primer is facilitated in an intentional and skillful way to give you a first-hand, heartful, and ‘brains-on’ experience of HCE that takes into account current social, political, and even personal climates.






October 29th & November 5th, 2024

6:30 PM-9:00 PM (Eastern Time)


November 14th & 21st, 2024

11:30 AM-2:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Register Now

Brought to you by the Acosta Institute

The Acosta Institute, founded by Dr. Angel Acosta, is a learning and research hub fostering innovation at the intersection of healing-centered education, contemplative social science and slow work. The Acosta Institute facilitates a series of online courses including The HCE Primer, The HCE Practicum, and various other lectures, trainings, workshops, and summits. As a part of Acosta Consulting, The Acosta Institute contributes to contemplative-based and healing-centered support for teams, communities, and institutions with their organizational learning needs.

Each cohort cultivates a unique learning experience.

Together we will explore…

  • The interconnection of individual, interpersonal, institutional, and collective healing.

  •  Community as a form of relational medicine.

  •  How the fields of neuroscience, biology, psychology, and anthropology affirm HCE practices and principles.

  •  The role of technology, music, art, and design in the healing process.

  •  The power of indigenous wisdom and decolonization as ways to reclaim cultural and psychological sovereignty.

  •  A co-creative approach to education that pushes back against prescriptive models of learning.

  • A variety of emerging ideas in the HCE field potentially including but not limited to: the limits of healing in education, policy challenges, and emerging insights from learning sciences.

  • How to co-create a fluid learning agenda with participants in your own facilitation. There’s always room for more to unfold as we join in this journey together.

Broaden Your Understanding of Thriving through Healing-Centered Education.

Join the HCE Primer


HCE is first and foremost an evidence-based, experiential, and collaborative learning pedagogy. Rooted in the re-emergence of indigenous scholarship, research that deeply explores the effects of racism and trauma, and the deconstruction of colonization — HCE is an emergent field of study that, by its very nature, is constantly evolving.

HCE boldly acknowledges and welcomes the equal and ever-growing value of each participant as simultaneously a student and a teacher. It makes room for the integration of what participants are learning with what they are living.

By welcoming the expression of pain and frustration in the pursuit of being academic or intellectual, HCE fosters a participant-centric, dynamic, and co-creative learning environment. HCE also acknowledges the nuanced impact that poverty, violence, oppression, and social marginalization have on individuals and communities.

The restoration of formerly practiced ways of knowing, learning, and being is woven together with innovation in the field of HCE. Each individual participating in and contributing to it brings the data of their own experiences to inform, educate, and shape new ways of thinking and practicing.

“Getting to the source of what it means to be human.”

- Shana P. 


“I now have a language for thriving.”

- Collier T.


If we want to create different education and facilitation experiences, we must first be willing to have different experiences ourselves. 

We believe that there’s no better way to learn HCE than to co-create an experience together.


The investment of each participant builds on the foundational principles of HCE taught to create a living-course experience. No two primers are exactly the same and participants are encouraged to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to be a part of the evolution of the restorative healing-centered paradigm in education. There are no right/wrong answers or ideas. All inputs are valued and affirmed inside of the Primer. 

We gather to…

  • exchange ideas

  • share experiences

  • expand our ideas of what is possible in the HCE space

  • Co-create the experience with fellow participants 

Bring the HCE Primer into Your Life

“This course disrupted typical notions of expertise and scholarship.”

- Licorish S.

Each cohort of The HCE Primer gathers a unique and vibrant community of brilliant and passionate professionals. 

We hear over and over again from our students that the community connection and collaboration is their favorite part of the Primer experience. 

 “The overall curation and collection of voices of thinkers, educators, and philosophers together that I found really powerful, enriching, and motivating. The diversity of thought felt whole and complete to me as a participant.” - Abby Wills

 “I gained confidence. I gained community. I gained an echo and a mirror and an echo of my voice, my questions, my wonderings, and my visions. I’ve realized through this course how much deeper I want to go with this work.” - Shana P.

 The HCE Primer includes interactive Zoom calls, guest experts, dynamic community connection tools, and abundant resources for personal and professional development. This is participant-centric, multi-dimensional work.

Inside of The HCE Primer Experience
You’ll Find:

  • Condensed, interactive lectures

  • Profound professional networking with leaders, scholars, and practitioners

  • Fresh approaches to HCE work to apply at work or within your community

  • A relaxed learning pace that allows for processing and integration

  • Ample space for discussion

  • Examples of healing-centered practices

  • Access to a curated list of supporting resources, articles, podcasts

  • The tools you need to develop your own HCE framework 

  • A course team that is always on standby to provide support

“I gained confidence. I gained community. I gained an echo and a mirror and an echo of my voice, my questions, my wonderings, and my visions. I’ve realized through this course how much deeper I want to go with this work.”

- Shana P.


Anyone interested in building community and exploring the healing-centered paradigm is welcome to join.

Our past students have been Educators,  Diversity,  Equity and Inclusion Consultants,  Therapists, Psychologists,  Researchers,  Teachers, Parents,  Artists,  Somatic Practitioners,  Activists, and Aspiring Activists.

“This primer gave me language to start with as a budding HCE. Thank you to all who made this possible!” - Student

Join the HCE Primer Today


Led by

Dr. Angel Acosta

For the last decade, Angel Acosta has worked to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice and mindfulness. He recently received his doctorate in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. Angel has supported educational leaders and their students by facilitating leadership trainings, creating pathways to higher education, and designing dynamic learning experiences. His dissertation explores healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development.

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.

Price & Registration

This course comes from a place of passion, love, and a drive to strengthen our communities, especially communities of color. When you pay for your participation in this course, you are supporting the physical, intellectual, and emotional labor required to continue to hold this space and curate powerful educational programming within it.

Choose your dates below and get signed up for a transformative learning experience, shaping your future and the future of those around you.   

From $199.99

October 29th - Nov 5th, 2024 

Tuesday Nights, 6:30 PM EST



From $199.99

November 14th - 21st, 2024 

Thursday Mornings, 11:30 AM EST