Embodied Equity, Justice and Leadership Institute

building cultures of belonging

A Program for Organizational Leaders and Teams

At Courage we focus on building communities and cultures of compassion-based, anti-oppressive, healing-centered, transformative, and visionary practice. Rather than addressing systems change or personal transformation alone, we understand that sustainable, lasting change requires that we build cultures of practice rooted in the values, principles and habits of mind and body in which we long to live. We support this work by teaching a model we call CourageRISE.

Systems of oppression live in our bodies and our cultural practices, and thus we can’t just legislate our way out of them or meditate our way out of them. For us, love is a practice. Justice is a practice. Anti-racism is a practice. Building Beloved Community requires more than Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings; it requires that we build cultures of practice rooted in belonging. 

We believe that long-term training and capacity-building is necessary to facilitate sustainable transformation. In addition to the Equity Institute, we also offer direct consulting services to organizations that are ready to make deep commitments to this work. Learn more about the Institute below. To inquire about direct consulting services, please use this form.

About the Institute

In response to increasing demand for our training and consulting services, we have designed this new three-month training for organizational leaders and teams. 

This institute is designed to give you the tools you need to jump start or deepen truly transformative and sustainable equity and justice work within your organization at a more accessible cost. 

Participants will:

    • conduct a compassionate systems assessment of their organization and receive a summary of key areas of learning and potentials for growth;
    • attend a two-day intensive training and learn the core theory and practice of our CourageRISE model;
    • participate in a five-week capacity-building seminar and gain tools to support both personal and systems change; and
    • receive a private coaching session with their small team to explore next steps.

Participants will also have the opportunity to connect and network with other organizational leaders and teams, many of whom are exploring similar challenges and developing creative solutions to building beloved community.


complete a organizational assessment


attend a two-day training


join a 5-week capacity-building group


conduct a follow up assessment and explore next steps

Who Should Attend

The program is open to all organizational leaders and team members committed to transformative change. We strongly encourage teams of 3-5 to register, though we will consider teams of 2 in certain cases.

Team members ideally should:

    • be diverse and represent voices that are traditionally marginalized,
    • understand the dynamic of those who have power and those who feel the impact of power,
    • have influence or leverage in their organization,
    • understand the importance of this work, and
    • be willing to make this work a priority.

Not part of a team? Consider attending one of our upcoming public trainings.


Our next public program will launch in 2023. If you team wishes to schedule a tailored, private training for your team, please complete the form below.  


Our team has decades of experience facilitating equity-centered, compassion-based systems change. We have consulted with human rights organizations, non-profits, universities, schools, trauma-centers, political organizations, design firms, contemplative and spiritual centers and community-based organizations. Learn more about our team here.

Ed Porter, M.A., M.S.

Ed has a rich and varied career in public education, professional development, community leadership, and systems thinking and equity training. His vision is to provide services in a variety of modalities to individuals, groups, and organizations that assist them in opening their eyes, minds, and hearts to working together across race, gender, and cultural identities—building a workplace and a world that honors, celebrates, and upholds the values and contributions of all.

Vaishali Mamgain, Ph.D.

Vaishali received her PhD in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill. She is a leading practitioner in the fields of contemplative education, antiracism, and compassion training. As the Director of the Center for Compassion at USM, she helps people develop awareness, empathy, and a critical systemic lens, necessary tools to unseat oppression in all its forms. She completed a 3-year meditation retreat and regularly leads antiracism trainings for leadership at Fortune 500 companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations.

Abra Vigna, Ph.D.

As an Action Researcher and Evaluator at the Population Health Institute of UW Madison, Abra supports organizations and coalitions in advancing systems change. Abra’s research and personal practice centers on healing toward collective liberation at all levels- personal, interpersonal, organizational and communal. Her PhD research focused on self-compassion as a practice to support social change efforts among racially diverse LGBTQ youth and she continues to assess the role that lineages of wisdom can offer to long-term change work. Abra brings over a decade of experience working directly with youth, families, organizations and communities to advance health and racial equity via direct-service, professional development, coalition building, and community-centered research.

Brooke D. Lavelle, Ph.D.

Brooke is the Co-Founder of Courage of Care. She holds a Ph.D. In Buddhism and Embodied Cognition, and is committed to ways in which individuals and communities develop cultures of practice that support love, health and liberation. Brooke has consulted to various human rights, education and spiritual organizations, and has experience leading national and international political, educational and climate justice projects. Brooke consults to the international Solidarity Matters project, is a fellow at Mind and Life and the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies in Germany, and a lecturer at the University of Virginia. As a non-profit leader, Brooke understands the challenges of trying to build alternatives to the status quo, and remains steadfastly convinced that another way is possible.

Team Readiness Assessment

This program may be right for your team if:

    • you have already made the case for equity;
    • understand that equity and justice work are critical to your organization; and
    • you are committed to both long-term team work and individual work.

This program may not be the right fit for your team if: 

    • you are not convinced that equity and justice are critical to your work;
    • you are looking for a quick fix to a diversity, equity and inclusion “problem”;
    • you are not ready to confront the realities of systems of oppression and domination in your organization.


We offer a sliding scale registration fee for our courses and workshops in service of economic and racial justice. 

A sliding scale fee structure supports a more equitable distributions of resources between organizations we work with. Organizations that are able to pay the full price at the higher end of the sliding scale enable us to work with organizations with fewer resources. 

Pay it Forward Tuition is $9,950. 

We ask that organizations with annual operating budgets over $1m support our redistribution fund by registering at this rate. Paying this fee enables us to offer sliding scale tuition to other members of our community in ways that sustain our team and our work.

Full tuition is $7,950. 

We ask organizations with budgets between $300k and $1m to register at this rate, which reflects the actual cost of the program. Paying the full tuition fee helps us cover costs and make the program accessible to others with less financial resources.

Solidarity tuition is $5,950

We invite organizations with annual budgets under $300k as well as organizations led and staffed primarily by BIPoC folks, working class-poor folks and people with disabilities to register at our solidarity rate. 

Tuition includes the organizational assessment and synthesis, as well as your team’s attendance at the two-day training and five-week capacity building seminar. We are accepting registrations for teams of 2-5 people. 

Please note that this program will be held online due to the uncertainty related to gathering during the ongoing pandemic, so there are no additional travel or other costs for which teams would need to budget.

After the Institute

Follow-up Programming and Tailored Consulting

We are committed to supporting transformative and sustainable organizational change. 

The Institute provides organizational teams with a framework and set of tools to begin deeper relational culture work. In order to develop a community of practice, we encourage organizations to support their staff to attend some of our public workshops, bi-monthly RelationSHIFT sessions and our forthcoming Radical Communion classes. In this way, we offer not only tools for healing, but also build a shared language and set of tools to take our relational work to the next level. 

We also are keen to train the relational leaders within organizations—including our directors of culture, our DEI leads, our healers, our counselors and the like—to shepherd this work. Our Courageous Leaders program is designed to offer relational leaders a deep dive into the theory, practice and application of our model, CourageRISE, and to equip them with both tools and confidence to carry this work forward for the long haul.

Our team is also available for leadership coaching, strategic planning, and curricular consults after the Institute. 

To inquire about direct consulting services, please use this form.

Register for the 2023 Institute

We will accept registrations on a rolling basis until the cohort fills.

Full program payments are due upon registration.

Please note that once registrations are processed, no refunds can be given. No refunds will be issued for failure to attend or complete the training.