Public Title
The Courageous Path of Collective Liberation: A Retreat for All Who Care About Our World

The Courageous Path of Collective Liberation

We have the capacity to wisely, fiercely and creatively respond to the enormous social, economic and environmental challenges before us from a radical stance of love and compassion that helps us work for and on behalf of all. This retreat is for all who long to unite and deepen their spiritual practice and social justice work in beloved community.

Our world is facing significant social, economic and environmental challenges. We are committed to helping people understand and address the root causes of these conflicts in sustainable ways, without burning out.

Despite the many challenges we are facing, we know that there is love all around. We have an extraordinary capacity for care, creativity and compassionate responsiveness, even in the face of seemingly endless forms of suffering. We are also committed, therefore, to helping people stay in touch with this truth and with the life-giving energy that service and justice work affords us. Staying in touch with beauty, hope and possibility is just as important as staying in touch with pain and injustice. It is also critical for helping us not only survive, but also thrive in our care, service and justice work.

Our work at Courage is oriented around this seeming paradox, which we understand to be at the heart of spiritual activism. We guide people in this work by helping us all learn to:

• LOVE in more sustainable and compassionate ways;
• SEE that which inhibits our capacity to connect in just, equitable ways;
• HEAL from collective forms of trauma, oppression and separation;
• ENVISION more caring and meaningful communities and systems; and
• ACT to realize and sustain our shared visions.

The retreat is open to all interested joining a community of practice committed to:
• deepening contemplative and spiritual practice;
• developing greater systemic and structural competency to complement their contemplative training;
• engaging generative conflict;
• learning diverse healing modalities;
• reclaiming creative and visionary capacities; and
• working for and on behalf of all.

Please Note: Registration is a Two-Step Process

1. Please click here to register with Courage of Care and pay the program fee

2. Make arrangements for room and board at the Garrison Institute via the Register link below. 

We are excited to announce that we can offer 36.75 CE credits for this program for select professional affiliations. Participants interested in receiving CE credits should first register for the program with Garrison and Courage of Care, and then register for CE credits at this link: Please note that the CE fee is in addition to the program fee. 

About Courage of Care

We launched in 2016 in order to provide a community and platform to help social service and caring professionals, activists, community leaders, parents and all others who care about our world deepen their profound capacity for compassion and creativity and also to learn ways of critically assessing, navigating and transforming complex systems within which they are embedded with a strong sense of purpose and agency. We see the integration of contemplative training, critical pedagogy and systems thinking as critical to our project of
collective liberation.

We know that contemplative and spiritual development is central to helping us not only reconnect, but to survive and flourish. We also feel strongly that transformative social justice requires more than just personal transformation. Our liberation is contingent upon our ability to understand structures and systems of oppression, domination, and inequity that inhibit our capacity to realize a more caring, just world. If our contemplative training is not coupled with a critical social and systemic analysis, we may not only fail to transform oppressive systems, but we may end up reproducing them.

We therefore developed an integrated model that weaves tools for both personal and social transformation to help us all develop the courage and skills necessary to realize and sustain our shared visions.

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—offers education, training, consulting and advocacy services across the country to help individuals, communities and organizations realize their courageous, caring potential.


Brooke D. Lavelle, Ph.D.
 is the Co-Founder and President of the Courage of Care
Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating the co-creation of a more just,
compassionate world. Courage’s diverse, interdisciplinary, multi-generational team
provides training and consultation in relational compassion practices, anti-oppressive pedagogies, restorative healing methods and systems tools to social service and caring professionals, as well as to educational, spiritual and human rights organizations.

Martin Vitorino, Ph.D.
is the Director of Programming at InsightLA. He is also a researcher and educator who teaches classes and facilitates workshops that promote well-being among LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Martin’s innovative self-love teachings are designed to counter stigma, shame, and internalized bias around SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression). At Courage of Care, Martin facilitates trainings on best practices for supporting LGBTQ+ young people in systems of care. He holds a Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University.

Juliana “Juli” Santoyo, M.Ed.
co leads Courage of Care’s advanced Courageous Healers and Leaders Programs. They are the co-founder of the Black Lotus Collective, a Boston-based contemplative community for people of historically oppressed backgrounds. Juli holds a B.A. in Human Development from Boston College and an M.Ed. degree from Boston University. They currently teach liberatory education approaches in public schools that both center the voices of the historically marginalized and provide opportunities for healing and processing intergenerational trauma. Together with their brother, Juli co-designed and implemented a contemplative-practice based peacebuilding curriculum to support peace-building efforts in Colombia, the country of their birth.

Ed Porter, M.A., M.S.
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. Mr. Porter has served in many roles and at all levels of school organizations—teacher, principal, district administrator, community leader, consultant and superintendent of schools. He works with teachers, district leadership and boards of trustees to identify and change the systems and human factors that present barriers to eliminating the achievement gap and allowing all students to master academic standards and deepen their human development. Mr. Porter helps organizations, groups, and individuals to set a clear vision, use multiple measures and perspectives in assessing current strengths and barriers, and engage all constituencies in courageous problem-solving, action planning, and implementation. He serves on the Board of Courage of Care

Abra Vigna, Ph.D. is an Action Researcher and Evaluator in the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this role she provides training, technical assistance and consulting related to community change efforts regarding health equity and offers expertise in transformative education, relationship-building and applied research. A long-term practitioner of contemplative practices, she infuses her capacity building efforts with compassion building practices. Prior to
earning her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison she worked as a crisis counselor and youth development specialist at a local Runaway and Homeless Youth agency. In addition to providing weekly life skills development programming for LGBT youth, crisis counseling, case management and youth mentorship, Abra has extensive experience supporting youth
service providers on the journey toward transforming their organizational infrastructure and personal practice to be more inclusive and explicitly anti-racist.

Kelly Conroy Moore, Ph.D.
has worked with parents and teenagers for the past 25 years as a school counselor, individual and family therapist, and parent educator. She runs compassionate parenting groups in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband Gary and her two amazing teachers/children, Elizabeth and Conor. Kelly received her B.A. from Occidental College, her M.S.W. from USC and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas.

Gail Philips
was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, raised and educated in Santiago, Chile, and now lives in Cooperstown, NY. She has a bachelor in Social Sciences and a masters in Sociology from the Universidad Católica de Chile. She formerly served as the Executive Director to Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, Cooperstown. Gail is committed to leading compassion-based meditation trainings for all people who care about our world. She now splits her time between Nepal and Chile.

7/19/2020 3:00 PM - 7/24/2020 2:00 PM
Garrison Institute 14 Mary's Way, Route 9D Garrison, NY 10524 UNITED STATES

Pricing Information

Registration OptionFee
Commuter Rate (no bedroom)$380.00
Dorm Room$500.00
Double Room$580.00
Single Room$680.00
Fees Include
These costs include room and board only. Please be in touch with the group regarding any additional program fees.

Late Registration Fee

Online registration for this event will close the day before the start of the retreat. Late registrations may be accepted on a case-by-case basis; there is a $50 late registration fee.

Cancellation Policy

This policy applies only to retreats for which Garrison Institute collected registration fees directly from guests. For cancellations made at least a week in advance of the start of the retreat, we assess a $65 cancellation fee. For cancellations made within a week of the event, in addition to the $65 processing fee, we will assess a fee of $40 per day for the length of the retreat to cover our direct costs for food, which will have already been ordered. We cannot offer refunds for cancellations made after 4pm the day before the start of a retreat.

  • Step 1 User Account Creation
  • Step 2 Registration Options
  • Step 3 Check Out
  • Step 4 Confirmation

NOTE: If you have attended a retreat at Garrison Institute before, please click the SIGN IN link at the top right of this page.

Create Account

The password must be at least 7 characters long.