July 19-24, 2020

The Garrison Institute


About the Workshop

Our world is on fire. War, violence, poverty, growing economic inequity, rising corporate greed, grave social injustices–institutionalized racism, mass incarceration, and so on–and an impending massive ecological crisis threaten the well-being and survival of us all. It is critical that we find ways of coming together collaboratively in ways that promote care, justice, equity, in order to address suffering and help us survive and thrive.

This of course is not news. Many people and communities long have been engaged in care work for the world. Faith leaders and healers from various spiritual and religious traditions have been calling us to learn to love for centuries. Social justice leaders have called us to learn to love as a means of empowering transformative and sustainable spiritual activism. And people from a variety of sectors, including psychology, education, urban planning, economics, and conflict resolution, have also been working to develop more caring, civically engaged citizens and more just, responsible organizations that serve us all.

We stand on the shoulders of all of these caring leaders, activists, concerned citizens and loving parents who have come before us. Courage aims to honor and uplift various ways of knowing, being and doing transformative change work.

Our work is not only oriented against oppression or suffering. Yes, our world is on fire, but there is love and beauty all around. Humans embody an extraordinary capacity for love and creativity even in the face of seemingly endless forms of suffering. It is critical that we do not lose sight of this truth — staying in touch with the beauty and life giving qualities of this world are critical for our sustainability and our capacity to dream for a better world.

Our work at Courage is oriented around this seeming paradox: We are committed to helping people stay in touch with the fact of suffering while also not losing sight of the truth of beauty, love and deep ‘okayness’ in this world. We are committed to helping all of us carry on. But more than that, we are committed to helping folks not only survive, but also to dream, to imagine, to co-create something even better — the beloved community. Our retreat is therefore designed to help us learn to:

1) LOVE in more compassionate, sustainable ways;

3) SEE the systems and structures that inhibit our capacity to connect in caring, equitable ways;

3) HEAL from collective forms of trauma, oppression and the loss of community;

4) ENVISION more caring and meaningful relationships, organizations and systems; and

5) ACT in ways that transform our relationships and help us build more meaningful, responsive and engaged communities.

Participants should also be committed to actively participating in a community of peers interested in:

  • deepening their contemplative compassion practice;
  • learning diverse healing modalities;
  • strengthening ways of supporting those in social service, caring professions and in community through contemplative teaching and service;
  • developing greater systemic and structural competency to complement their contemplative training; and
  • joining a growing professional learning community of contemplative teachers and leaders committed to realizing a more just, compassionate world.


Our diverse, interdisciplinary, intergenerational and interfaith team—with years of experience in education, health care, social work, trauma-informed care, contemplative studies, and social activism —is excited to collectively support you in this intensive retreat.  

Contributing Program Faculty

Juliana Santoyo, MEd, Ana Hristic, MSW, Brooke D. Lavelle, PhD, Kelly Conroy Moore, PhD, Ed Porter, MS, MA, Abra Vigna, PhD, Gail Philips

Schedule and Location

The retreat will begin with dinner at 7pm July 19th and end at lunch on Sunday, July 24th, 2020.

The retreat will be held at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY. Participants are required to arrange their own accommodations directly through Garrison, and pay the program fee directly to Courage of Care. This is a two-step registration process. See below for more details.

Registration and Fees

We offer a sliding scale registration fee and encourage you to make your most honest personal assessment of your financial means and resources as you sign up.

Registration includes the full 5-day training as well as lunch and dinner. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

Sponsor: $1000

We ask those with class priviliege and access to financial resources to consider paying our sponsor fee. These registrations help us make our sliding scale and reduced options possible and sustainable. Thank you in advance for your generosity! (And if you have the means to support others tuition or travel, wonderful! Please consider making a separate tax-deductible donation scholarship fund: http://courageofcare.org/campaigns/support-courage-2/)

Sustainer: $800

We ask those with class privilege (eg raised in middle-upper class homes and/or making over $62,000 per year), access to financial resources and/or access to organizational professional development funds to please consider paying the full course fee. This practice of solidarity giving enables us to continue to create content and to provide scholarship support to others with less financial resources, thereby building and strengthening our community.

Supporter: $600

We invite those with less class privilege (eg making less than $62,000 per year and/or raised in working class homes) or with limited financial resources or recent financial hardships to consider paying our supporter fee. This enables us to cover basic course development and to provide ongoing community support.

Scholar/Full-time Student: $400

We invite those with less class privilege, extreme financial hardship and/or those representing traditionally marginalized identities to register at our scholarship fee.

Should you need more support, please do not hesitate to ask! We do believe it is important for everyone to contribute to our community, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Registration is a two-step process.

Step one: Select your program registration fee above and send a payment to Courage of Care via paypal (brooke@courageofcare.org). Be sure to make a note that the payment is for the summer retreat.

Early bird registration: Take $50 off of your program registration fee if you register on or before March 1, 2020!

Please note our cancellation policy: Once you have registered via paypal, cancellations must be made in writing to brooke@courageofcare.org. Prior to June 1st, program fees will be refunded less a $100 processing fee. On or after June 1st, cancellations will only be refunded (less the $100 processing fee) if we are able to reach our maximum registration capacity and fill your spot in the training.  No refunds will be given for failure to attend or failure to complete the retreat.

Step two: Choose and register for your accommodations via the Garrison Institute. Please be sure to review their registration and cancellation policies.