Within the Acosta Institute, the Healing-Centered Education Summits serve a critical role in fostering dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge sharing among a diverse array of educators, scholars, practitioners, and change-makers. These gatherings offer a unique platform for exploring groundbreaking ideas, theories, and practices at the intersection of education, healing, mindfulness, social justice, and contemplative social action. The summits facilitate the exchange of innovative strategies and solutions to the complex challenges faced in today's educational landscape, encouraging the adoption of healing-centered approaches in educational settings. Furthermore, they contribute to the broader mission of the Institute to transform K-12 and adult education, underlining the importance of educator well-being, equity, and social justice in shaping our collective future.

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Upcoming Summit July 2024

Contemplating Equity & Fugitive Futures

This in-person Healing-Centered Education Summit is themed "Contemplating Equity and Fugitive Futures." This transformative gathering will host esteemed experts such as Dr. Angel Acosta, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, and Minna Salami, offering a platform for contemplative practitioners, educators, scholars, and change-makers from various fields to delve into the intersections of contemplative social action, social justice, mindfulness, and the concept of "fugitivity" as explored by contemporary critical theorists.

Set within the serene ambiance of the Garrison Institute, the summit will engage participants in thought-provoking discussions, collaborative workshops, and inspiring keynote addresses, all with a focus on how contemplative, healing-centered approaches to social change and fugitive thinking can shape our shared efforts towards an equitable society. With themes ranging from Contemplative Social Action, Fugitive Futures, Healing-Centered Education, Decolonizing Knowledge, to Post-Activism and Social Transformation, and Rest as Resistance & Slow Work, this event aims to ignite invigorating community building and robust dialogues about the potential of fugitive spaces of learning.

Past Summits

March 2023 – Wounded Healer Leadership & Pedagogy

This summit served as a communal exploration into surviving and thriving amidst a lingering pandemic and various societal crises. Drawing inspiration from the concept of the "wounded healer" rooted in Greek mythology and interpreted in Carl Jung's work, we reinterpreted this idea in relation to leadership in organizations and pedagogical approaches. With a keen focus on embracing the complexity of navigating systems that perpetuate violence and inequality, the summit provided inspiration, affirmation, and hope for depleted leaders and educators. It aimed to catalyze collective healing and transformation while advancing the concept of the wounded healer in the field of education.

A diverse array of speakers from various backgrounds such as education, psychology, public health, neuroscience, philanthropy, indigenous science, and the healing arts contributed to a rich exploration of the concept of wounded healers within the educational context. Key questions were examined throughout the summit, including the implications of the wounded healer concept on healing-centered work in organizations, schools, and institutions, and how it influences practices for educators, practitioners, and leaders navigating constant change and varying levels of trauma in their communities. The relationship between wounded healing and academic research committed to transforming systems of inequality was also a critical focus during this transformative gathering.

October 2022

Play, Slow Work & Collective Flourishing

Our second annual Healing-Centered Education Summit was an engaging event that deeply resonated with our attendees. Building upon the resonance of our inaugural summit, which focused on pedagogies for collective recovery, this event carved out a meaningful space for play and slow work. Attendees engaged in fireside chats, panel discussions, healing modalities to foster a sense of slowing down, and live design-and-play sessions. We aimed to further cultivate the healing-centered education field, a holistic paradigm that embraces restorative justice, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, trauma-sensitive teaching, decolonizing education, and much more.

The intention was to continue our mission to transform K-12 and adult education by activating a generative social field, inspiring new scholarship, pedagogical approaches, and fostering robust communities of practice. Amidst the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic and numerous societal crises, the summit provided a necessary opportunity to slow down and explore how to balance work and play in both our professional and personal lives. With contributions from a diverse group of speakers hailing from education, psychology, public health, neuroscience, philanthropy, indigenous science, and the healing arts, the summit successfully nurtured a community of curious learners eager to engage with healing-centered approaches to education.

October 2021 

Pedagogies for Collective Recovery

This inaugural Healing-Centered Education Summit successfully gathered scholars, practitioners, and curious learners from diverse backgrounds to converge around the transformative restorative and healing-centered paradigm in educational research and practice. In the face of escalating global challenges like political polarization, economic inequality, racial and gender violence, and health disparities, the Summit underscored the importance of collective recovery and restoration.

Participants engaged in restorative circles, workshops, spoken word performances, breathwork sessions, and were inspired by dynamic keynote addresses, all of which served to energize a generative social field. This nexus of activities sparked new scholarship and pedagogical practices that have begun to significantly influence K-12 and professional education. Reflecting on decades of social-emotional learning, mindfulness-based education, trauma-informed care, restorative justice, and decolonizing education, the Summit highlighted how these practices form part of the healing-centered turn in education, a concept further expounded by Dr. Shawn Ginwright in his book "Hope and Healing in Urban Education." The event amplified the importance of embedding healing-centered practices in formal schooling, university curricula, workforce professional development, and adult education to enable our children and us to thrive amidst multiple crises.