Courageous Leaders for Collective Liberation

A new program for social service professionals, community organizers, spiritual activists, and all who care about our world

Program Overview

In these trying times, we are being called to lead together--ever more urgently--with courage and compassion.

We believe that courageous, compassionate leadership embodies many forms, and that it is most effective when grounded in deep, loving contemplative practice and an unwavering commitment to liberation for all.  We teach who we are, and if we are not doing our own personal work, that will reflect in our service efforts. And if we are doing deep contemplative work, but aren’t aware of the ways in which our capacity for care is limited by social and cultural conditioning, we may not realize our full potential. We also may end up perpetuating the very systems of oppression from which we aim to free ourselves and others.

Our Courageous Leaders for Collective Liberation Program is therefore designed to support both spiritual activists and organizers who wish to both grow and strengthen a healing and restorative contemplative practice as well to commit to taking action to make systems and communities they serve more caring and just. The training is open to all educators, health professionals, social workers, activists, organizers, spiritual teachers, community leaders and caring professionals who wish to:

  • expand their vision for a more compassionate, just society;
  • strengthen their contemplative practice in ways that are sustaining and generative;
  • develop systemic and structural competency and fluency in anti-oppressive pedagogies;
  • learn tools for healing and transforming privilege and oppression; 
  • join a growing professional learning community of spiritual activists committed to critical self-discovery and collective liberation; and
  • integrate their healing and systems learning with their developing philosophy around organizing to workshop and implement their own personal and social leadership project.

Statement on Inclusion

We are dedicated to recruiting a cohort that is representative inclusive of people of various ages, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, spiritual or religious traditions, and of professional and education experience. We believe this work will succeed inasmuch as it is reflective of and responsive to the needs of our diverse human family.

Program Structure

The program is designed as a year-long course to offer time, space and community building necessary for deep, meaningful and actionable work to unfold. The 2019-2020 training includes the following in-person and online learning components:

  • LOVE | Courageous Compassion Retreat |*August 6th-11th in Bend, OR
  • SEE | Healing Power of Love and Compassion Seminar | Fall 2019
  • ReENVISION | Compassionate, Just Systems Seminar | Winter 2020
  • HEAL | Compassion­ and Love­-Based Leadership Seminar | Spring 2020
  • ACT | Courageous Leadership in Action Project | Spring/Summer 2020
  • INTEGRATION | Capstone Retreat | July 2020 in Bend, OR

Download our "Courageous Leaders for Collective Liberation" Program Overview

Contributing Program Faculty

Juliana Santoyo




Ana Hristic, MSW




Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD




Veta Goler, PhD




Kelly Conroy Moore, PhD




Ed Porter, MS, MA




Abra Vigna, PhD

Application and Program Fees

All tuition costs listed in the application linked below include retreat and online course tuition, as well as coaching, supervision and certificate fees. *These costs do not include travel to/from and room and board at the in-person workshops in Bend, OR.  

We are offering 3-5 need-based, service-recognition and work-exchange scholarships per application pool.

We do believe it is important for every member of our cohort to invest in our learning community, so we do not offer full scholarships.

The full program fee is $4950; we do offer 25% and 50% reduced fee work-exchange scholarships and will work with all committed participants on other arrangements to make this training possible, such as support with raising funds from our community to attend the training.

We also offer discounts to organizations or community groups of two or more.

We will begin reviewing scholarship applications on January 7th, 2019. We will award scholarships on a rolling basis. 

The priority deadline for all other applications is January 21st. Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Please apply early as there are a limited number of seats available in this year-long training. We will accept applications as space remains through June 15th, 2020. 

Please note that a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due within two weeks of acceptance to hold your spot in the training. A minimum of 50% of the remaining program tuition is due by April 1st, 2020. Full program payments must be completed by June 21st, 2020. Please note that no refunds will be granted after this date.


Please indicate your request for a need-based and/or work exchange scholarship in your application form. If you are requesting a work-exchange scholarship, please also send us your CV with a description of skills you can offer.


Q: Does this certify me to teach Courage’s Leadership Program?

A: No. This is not a standard “certification” program. The program is designed to help participants deepen their practice and teaching in a variety of ways.

Q: How does this relate to other leadership programs for activists and organizers?

A: We see complementarity with a number of programs. Our approach aims to integrate deep contemplative training with critical social analysis and inclusive, anti-oppressive pedagogies. Our team has a diverse range of experience in education, social work, health care, spiritual activism, organizing, contemplative studies, and LGBTQ+ issues. We collectively draw on these backgrounds to create a collaborative learning environment that fosters deep personal reflection and sustainable, committed service.

Q: Can I enroll in parts of the program without enrolling in the whole program?

A: Because community is essential to the success of this work, the program is open only to accepted applicants who are able to complete the entire training. We do offer public retreats and workshops. Visit our workshops listings for more information.