in it together

building relational culture in our movements

New Toolkit for Building Relational Culture


We are living in an unprecedented era. The dual pandemics of white supremacy and COVID-19 are drawing worldwide attention to the deep economic, social and environmental injustices of our time.

This moment requires urgent action. We are called to fiercely and uncompromisingly affirm and protect all Black and Indigenous lives from ongoing police brutality and centuries of systemic oppression, and to do so for the sake of all of our humanity.

These times also call for deep reflection. While we sense tremendous possibility for a more compassionate and just world in this moment, we know that we need to sustain ourselves and each other for the movement. Although the world is showing an incredible readiness for change, the outcome of this pandemic and the largest civil rights uprising in recent history is not fixed. At this inflection point, it is crucial that we do not return to business as usual. Realizing this potential will require significant culture change.

This five-part course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of our framework for liberatory practice, CourageRISE.


We offer five core online courses that correspond with our blueprint, CourageRISE. Each course is designed for self-study, though we do occasionally offer live practice sessions on Zoom — be sure to join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on those offerings. Continuing education (CE) credits are also available for many of our courses. And, as with all of our programs, all registrations are sliding scale in service of racial and economic justice. Please be in touch should you need more support or if you have any questions!

Letter C and word Courage on Black background. Image of man raising fist filling letter C

Core Course One

Cultivating Sustainable Compassion

10 CE Credits

Love and compassion—and their umbrella term, care—are motivational stances that orient our way of being in the world. They care qualities that can be trained and also nurtured in safe, loving relationships. They are also foundational to healing and social change work. 

Our first core course is designed to help us strengthen our capacity for love and care in sustainable, relational ways. Participants also learn: 

    • the science of compassion, love and attachment; 
    • relational tools for cultivating the building blocks of love and compassion based on our model of receiving, extending and deep self care; 
    • tools for avoiding empathic fatigue and burnout; and
    • practices for navigating obstacles to love and compassion in our relationships, communities and organizations.
Letter R and Reveal Truths over black background. Image of protest sign reading "We will not be silenced" fills letter R

Sustainable Compassion

Core Course Two

Transforming Oppression

7 CE Credits

We believe that training in love and compassion are important but alone are not sufficient in helping us realize a more compassionate world. We also need a social justice framework that helps us situate our personal transformation within a broader context of collective liberation.


Our second core course is designed to help us develop new ways of being—new cultures of practice that support love and liberation for all. This module offers us a way of considering the importance of both personal and social transformation in our work, by helping us develop a common analysis of the forces that inhibit our capacity for justice and awakening.

Participants also learn:

    • The science of trauma and basic tools for recognizing and healing personal and social trauma 
    • Tools for systems thinking
    • To recognize systems of domination and oppression and understand how they are maintained
    • The ways in which oppression harms all of us
    • The ways in which our personal and collective liberation are linked 
Letter I and words Invest in Healing over black background. Image of black woman hugging black child fills letter I

Core Course Three

Becoming Radically Resilient

7 CE Credits

Healing is a critical stage of sustainable, transformative justice work. Yet so often, we feel pressured to rush the process of healing in the name of getting things done or “fixing” what seems to be broken or not working. Or, we totally overlook the process of healing altogether, unaware that healing is not a privilege–it is a necessity for sustainable change.

We see healing as a stance, not as a fixed end goal. Like the concept of resilience, healing involves being able to adapt to our world, to take in new information, to restore, to repair, to reconcile. In its most basic sense, we understand healing to be about restoring and transforming relationship–with ourselves, each other, and our world.

In our third core course, participants learn:

    • The science of resilience
    • Tools for building, sustaining and repairing relationships, with loved ones and so-called “adversaries” 
    • Practices for engaging generative conflict
    • Approaches to healing from various forms of oppression at an organizational and systemic level 
    • Practices for optimal healing drawn from diverse traditions
Letter S and words "Sense Alternatives" over black background. Image of white women at protest with sign reading "Save our future" fills the letter S

Core Course Four

Creating the Future

Loving, seeing and healing are important stages in the process of transformation. But for radical transformation to occur, we have to move from a stance of fixing what is broken to cultivating what could be. In other words, we need to move from a critical or deconstructive stance to a constructive or reconstructive stance. This shift involves a capacity for even more radical openness, generosity and creativity.

We see this type of visionary capacity to be the foundation of “caring systems” thinking; the ultimate form of “resilience” and resistance. Our fourth core course is designed to help us strengthen our visionary capacities. Participants also learn to:

    • Center love, joy and creativity in their work
    • Reclaim their creative, visionary capacities
    • Recognize and challenge limiting frameworks and narratives 
    • Strengthen cognitive flexibility 
    • Move toward and embody visions for a more caring, just world.
Letter E and words "Embody Beloved Community" over black background. Image of white woman kissing baby on nose fills image

Core Course Five

Leading with Courage and Care

We can begin shaping the compassionate, just world that we know is possible right here and now–we need not wait for the perfect time or the right conditions. We can build this world by shaping and creating new cultural norms, institutional practices, and healthier more loving ways of being with each other.

As we wake up to the sense that our world is not fixed and that the ways we think act and relate to one another matter, we realize that we have profound potential to effect change. This is the heart of transformative practice as we see it.

And that is the heart of the work and the meaning behind our name, Courage of Care: as we deepen in our sense of connection, or sense of relatedness, we touch in on our natural capacity for care. And from that care–that sense of being held, connected, truly inter-dependent, we awaken the Courage to show up, to see, to heal, to envision, and to act. Our final core course helps participants integrate the key learnings of all prior modules in a sustainable path of transformation. In addition, participants learn:

    • To identify deepest aspirations and intentions and to
      clarify their commitments
    • To embody a courageous, caring stance supportive of realizing their deepest aspirations
    • To make a regular commitment to practice in service of their deepest commitments without attachment to outcomes
    • To be a force of healing in their life and work.

"The community of practice is really rich."

I appreciate the depth and breadth of these courses and the way the blueprint unfolds. The community of practice is really rich. I have learned so much from others who take these courses!
zack walsh