PORTAL: a healer’s immersive learning cohort

PORTAL is a 6-month, peer-led, co-learning, collaborative unlearning, and growth incubator. This Black, Queer-led space centers Black healers looking to ensure their work and life are in alignment with expansive visions of Black liberation. This space is created with the intention of inviting participants to investigate the stories, patterns, practices, and beliefs they are holding and embodying in their lives and in their healing work. 

This cohort will meet beginning in August 2022, twice a month on Thursdays at 630pm EST. Dates and times will be shared in more detail within the application. As a concluding ceremony and celebration, all participants will be invited to a three-day retreat at Elohee Retreat Center in Sautee Nacoochee, GA. 

Because of the intimacy of this offering and the intention to build authentic connections, participation for this cohort will be capped at 10 individuals. Because of our desire for accessibility, this offering has no financial investment. The investment we are requiring is time and energy. Potential applicants should be prepared to be present for all live sessions, engaged in the at-home work, and prepared to participate in the contemplative work being done within our sessions. 


Important upcoming dates: 

June 5: Application period begins

June 25: Application period ends

July 5: Acceptance Notifications to all applicants.

July 15: Registration period ends

August 4First session

August 11Month one workshop session 

August 25thContemplative workshop 

September 8Month two workshop

September 22Contemplative workshop 

October 13Month three workshop

October 27Contemplative workshop 

November 10Month four workshop 

November 22: (a Tuesday in observance of Indigenous People’s Day): Contemplative workshop 

December 8: Month five workshop 

December 22Contemplative workshop 

January 12Month six workshop

January 26Contemplative workshop 

 February 17-19Cohort retreat and closing ceremony 


Each month the cohort will focus on a different topic, building upon the previous month’s work. Through movement space, facilitated dialogue, contemplative practice, and speaker series we set the vision of curating a space that allows for our collective wholeness, healing, and community building. Please find an overview of the monthly focus points below:

Month 1: Exploring Your Wholeness

Month 2: Valuing Community 

Month 3: Reimagining resources

Month 4: Making your work ethical, authentic, and accessible 

Month 5: Expansive Visioning for collective liberation

Month 6: Embodied Practice 


Our application period has ended. Thank you for your interest. Join our waitlist to learn about future cohorts. 


PORTAL Participant Investment

This offering centers authentic community building that is strengthened by consistant and committed participation. For this reason, we are asking for folks to apply who can commit to being present for all scheduled events. We realize that life is changing from moment to moment and will honor the humanity of all involved when an absence is necessary, however, live sessions will not be recorded to honor the privacy of all. 

This offering is covered by our ongofundariasing and grant funding. Because we are centering community that is not transactional, participants are not asked to contribute financially to this space. 

What are co-learning and collaborative unlearning? 

 Co-learning and collaborative unlearning  are community building tools used to look at new or less popular information in a non-hierarchical space, where everyone is valued and all voices are welcomed as we investigate and interrogate our held beliefs, patterns and practices. Within a collaborative unlearning space, learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other.

Disclaimer: This offering is not a training or workshop. Participants are expected to be present, engaged, open and honest. Our care of one another and ability to hold each other accountable is essential. While the space will be held by facilitators, they are also journeying with participants in the space. 


Why are we here?

This offering was collectively visioned as a space for Black people working within wellness spaces to investigate the ways we can embody liberation for ourselves and our communities. This sacred container will be offering participants the opportunity to learn more about how we internalize oppressive systems and how that can impact how and who we are serving. 

We believe in offering a supportive space for Black folks to heal within the community. This is a sacred community where we value the healing medicine within our stories and experiences. 



Who is this group for?

This group is for Black folks. All facilitators, speakers, tech crew, and participants will be folks who identify as Black. 

What Online Platform is Used to Hold  Sessions?


What is the Format of the Meetings?

Style of meetings vary from presentation with slides, reflections, group sharing, & discussions. Self-Study will be centered in all of the live and at home work. Because we will be learning together, sharing personal information, ideas, perspectives, and experiences our offerings will not be recorded for later viewing. 

Who Facilitates this meeting?

Tiya Caniel [she/her/hers] & Kelley Nicole Palmer [she/her/hers] and our guest facilitators.

Is This Group Confidential?

Yes. Part of the group agreements include maintaining confidentiality. We also ask participants to use a headset if they don't have privacy in their physical space. 


Meet The Space Holders

Tiya Caniel


Writer | Creative | Stylist

Tiya Caniel is a queer, black human currently based in the Statesville, NC area. She is in a very deliberate and dedicated liberation practice, which informs her work as a creative, writer, and innerspace stylist.

As an innerspace stylist, Tiya helps folks style and adorn themselves from within by teaching them sustainable tools to facilitate their own healing.

Learn more about Tiya by visiting www.tiyacaniel.com

Kelley Nicole Palmer


Creative | Advocate | Space Holder

Kelley Nicole Palmer is a black, queer creative, and community advocate based in Charlotte NC.  Kelley uses the practices and philosophy of yoga to guide her work in creating equitable and sustainable access to wellness for Black people. Along with teaching movement, meditation, and contemplative practices, Kelley leads retreats, hosts workshops, and contributes to multiple teacher training programs. Kelley also works as a race equity educator, working to create collaborative learning and self-study spaces where inquiry-based learning brings new perspectives, insights, and action.

Learn more about Kelley Nicole at kelleynicolepalmer.com

Blu Lewis


is a native New Yorker with a passion for building all things Black. They have over 10 years experience as a community organizer, researcher, and program director and they are most passionate about coordinating and developing  local, statewide, and national Black Led movements and infrastructures that are centered on meeting the needs  and shifting the conditions of Black, working class , and TGNCI communities.  Blu currently resides In Charlotte, NC  and is currently Minister of Organizing for the Movement for Black Lives,  the Director of North Carolina’s Black Leadership and Organizing Collective, and Principled Researcher for Our Data Bodies research collective.  Blu committed to honoring the Black Radical Traditions by working to create the conditions that make it possible for Black  people and movements to win, both nationally and globally.

king yaa


king yaa is a genderqueer person of trans masculine experience and their sexuality is queer AF. Their Blackness is their superpower! 


king is an intersectional feminist and their work centers queer, trans, and non-binary folx well-being through full spectrum of life experiences, including grief & loss and sex & pleasure. They also train intentional health and wellness practicioners on developing the competencies to care for and to create safer and inclusive practices for queer, trans and gender diverse people. 


king yaa supports folx of all gender identities, sexual orientations in all bodies to have the audacity to intentionally & unapologetically have compassion for self, in all their complexities, as a radical act of taking up space and insisting on themselves. They are invested in decolonizing health and queering up reproductive justice, as well as, the collective healing and liberation of queer, trans and nonbinary folx, especially People of the Global Majority, aka BI&POC.

Learn more about king yaa by visiting: www.kingyaa.co.za

Nico LeBlanc


Nico Le Blanc currently serves as D&I Client Partner at Bloomberg News & Media. Prior to Bloomberg, Nico served as Associate Director for Diversity & Inclusion at NYU Stern School of Business. Nico’s primary focus within their work is to create a positive, empowering experience that facilitates vulnerability, shifts cultural norms, increases diversity, enhances inclusion, and combats structural inequality, in turn creating a diverse and equitable environment. Nico holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology, Education, and Policy from Teachers College-Columbia University. In their commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion for all, they also serve on the Advisory Board for the Healing Schools Project through the Robinhood Foundation. Additionally, Nico is a certified 200YT & meditation instructor.

Uhuru Hilton 

all pronouns accepted

Uhuru is a gender nonconforming, empty-nester and Black Auntie with Turtle Island, Jamaican and African Indigenous ancestry. They are a Ziwe stan, kayaker, "reimagine curator", and solidarity economy capacity builder developing right relationship with and as nature while stewarding a permaculture food forest and conservation site in rural unceded Eno and Occaneechi Band of the Saponi land in Alamance County, North Carolina.