Skip to Content

Searching for the Soul of Social Justice in the Heart of a Sacred and Storied Place

Sunday, March 25, 2018 - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Embassy Suites - Montgomery, Alabama

March 25 – 28, 2018
Sun 4pm to Weds 1pm

Embassy Suites
Montgomery, Alabama

$1200 until January 15
$1400 after January 15

Click to register now

Please register by February 10th, 2018

“When ‘We the People’ re-examine connections to beliefs and communities, it creates an opportunity to heal an ailing society.”
– Parker J. Palmer

Join us for a Circle of Trust®, a pilgrimage to sacred and storied places, where the history of our Nation’s Civil Rights movement lives in the streets, museums, houses of worship, bridges and monuments of Montgomery and Selma Alabama. This retreat will hold safe space for us to consider the journey of Social Justice from the Civil Rights Era to today and contemplate how our past informs our personal relationship with social responsibility, invites us to reflect on the current climate in our Country, and respond to the many questions that we may be holding about our role in answering the courageous voices of yesterday and the calls to action of today.

About This Retreat:

This four-day experience will incorporate the principles, practices and touchstones of the Circle of Trust approach, established by Parker J. Palmer, using “place” as a framework that will be woven throughout the retreat. We will spend time in self-reflection, small group discussion, and group sharing as we travel back into time, stand in the present, and contemplate our future.

Imagine standing at the Capitol Steps on the same day, March 25, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed 25,000 people who gathered there at the completion of their march from Selma to Montgomery. Picture sitting together in the Southern Poverty Law Center Museum and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where Dr. King preached. Envision walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the Selma march took place. These are the places awaiting you as we search for the Soul of Social Justice, our truth and place in the ongoing efforts to respectfully engage with each other, honoring the unalienable rights of every citizen.

“If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
 – Rabbi Hillel

This retreat is based on the Circle of Trust® developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal.  The Center is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to working with teachers, leaders, and other serving professionals to establish circles of trust that support personal wholeness, professional integrity, and vocational vitality. The Center welcomes participants from all races, genders, sexual orientations, national and ethnic origins, ages, abilities and disabilities, economic classes and religious/spiritual paths. You are welcome in our Circle of Trust®. For more information, see

Meet Your Facilitators

Jana Rickerson, LCSW is an educator, mentor, consultant and facilitator. After decades of experience in child welfare, public health and HIV services, she is currently passionate about her work with diversity and cultural humility training, teaching the next generation of social workers, and supervising case managers who work with LGBTQ seniors. Jana brings authenticity and a strong sense of wonder and curiosity to her leadership. She has an unwavering commitment to creating safe spaces for transformational dialogue and community building, which also led her to pursue training as a facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal and the Public Conversations Project.

Lori Schulman YadinLori-Yadin is an Experiential Educator, Retreat Facilitator, Relationship Coach, Mentor, Human Advocate and Writer. A Facilitator for The Center for Courage & Renewal, trained by Parker J. Palmer and the Center’s Leadership team, she believes that the common thread of our humanity is found in our stories. Lori often shares that her friendship with a homeless man, Hank, a war veteran who took up residence in the woods near her childhood home when she was ten years old as her most meaningful and life-giving relationship; one that set her on a path to understand the impact of experience, the value of safe space, sacred listening, self-compassion and dignity. The lessons she learned from listening to Hank’s stories and those generously shared by many others throughout her life compelled her to found Create Safe Space, Inc., a social profit with a mission to cultivate thriving environments that inspire healthy relationships, support individual birth-right gifts that uplift spirit, and grow communities of open communication, positive, empathic purpose and well-being. Lori envisions a world where we hold each other’s dignity as closely as our own. She believes that developing mindful practices and sharing our stories with each other sustain the whole of our humanity and are key to cultivating meaning-filled connections with self and others.

Lori is a lifelong learner with a twenty-year daily meditative practice that has included numerous week long silent retreats, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training, incorporating Mindful practice in her Coaching, Teaching and Retreat Facilitation. She has a creative spirit, love for the natural world, and her birth and extended family. In her free time, she visits with her children and grandchildren, digs in the garden, and takes long walks with her dogs. Lori is a passionate consumer of printed material and spends hours reading and writing in her hundred-year-old corn crib which has produced her book of Poetry, moving through life, doors and thresholds of past, present, and future. Her second book, Creating Safe Space will be published at the end of this year (2017). Lori has an abiding love of water and spends her time between the Delaware Shore and Maine Coast.

Dave Ellis is the owner and Principal Consultant at Dave Ellis Consulting, LLC, a group dedicated to using Worldview Intelligence and the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter for training on equity and inclusion, strategic planning and community engagement. He has hosted discussions with groups ranging from 10 to 2,000 participants on topics from strategic planning for communities and nonprofits and equity to community engagement with state and other agencies. He has been exploring the impact of early childhood trauma on adult issues and been instrumental in conversations on equity, diversity, race, power and privilege in Minnesota.

Ellis is a Certified Master Trainer on the impact of trauma on the neurobiology and brain development of children prenatal through 3 years of age, epigenetics, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACE Study) and individual and community resilience and capacity building (NEAR). Ellis engages others in creating system-wide, community-based and culturally-specific approaches to address trauma- and stress-induced health issues in the lives of African American men and boys. He is a local, national and international planner/trainer on topics including the impact of trauma, trauma informed care, worldview intelligence, equity and community engagement strategies.

Ellis is a Global Steward of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations That Matter. He facilitates community and agency training and strategic planning sessions utilizing the processes and methodologies at its core. He has participated in and served as a consulting producer with tptMN on 2 documentaries, directed the implementation of large scale research projects including the Racial Disparity Initiative and the Statewide Racial Profiling Study while at the Council on Crime and Justice. He specializes in engaging clients in dialogs that are the most difficult in a way that allows all participants to fully participate in our dialogs around the most intractable of our social concerns.

He is a former employee of the Minnesota Departments of Corrections (DOC) and Public Safety (DPS), retiring after 25+ years of service.  He began his career as a Correctional Officer and was promoted through the correctional ranks.  He has held various positions including corrections security case manager, Affirmative Action Officer, Executive Officer of Juvenile Release, Director of Diversity and Equity and Project Director.

He is also a former employee of Greater Twin Cities United Way where he had responsibility for the domestic violence and homelessness goal areas with responsibility for over $8M in grant funding. Ellis has worked for numerous other nonprofits.

Ellis is a contracted trainer with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). He currently provides training to new foster parents and social workers on topics including the DHS statewide curriculums entitled Resource Families curriculum, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Culture for Trainers and Social Workers, and Relating to Primary Families. He is currently engaged with the DHS in the development of a new curriculum on primary, secondary and collective trauma and their impact on families, children and communities.

Ellis is the recipient of the Hawkinson Foundation for Peace & Justice 2016 Honorary Award.

About Our Venue

Historic Downtown Montgomery, Alabama will be our Retreat Venue for our time together. Embassy Suites will be our home-base as we use “Place” as a third thing; holding our circle in several venues that include; the Southern Poverty Law Center Museum, Selma, Alabama, and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

Registration and Details

Registration & Application: To receive an application and registration form please contact Lori Yadin at Lori will email you both forms. The forms must be submitted along with your deposit or full payment (see below)Once both forms are received you will receive an email confirmation. The retreat fees below include meals, transportation while in Montgomery as well as lodging.

Cost / Deposit / Payment: 

Early Registration $1200.00 (available until January 15, 2018).
Option A: Pay in full.
Option B: 50% of registration cost must be submitted with your completed registration/application form by January 15, 2018. Final payment is due February 25, 2018.

Regular Registration $1400.00 (available January 15, 2018 – February 10, 2018).
Option A: Pay in full
Option B: 50% of registration cost must be submitted with your completed registration/application form by February 10, 2018. Final payment is due February 25, 2018.

Cancellation Policy: We understand that life challenges emerge and changes happen in our schedules. If you must cancel, we must receive your written request to do so by February 25, 2018. The non-refundable cancellation fee is $100.00.

Scholarships: We are actively pursuing Scholarship Funds through several fundraising efforts. We will update registrants with all opportunities. We are committed to making participation possible for all who wish to attend, regardless of their ability to pay.  If cost is an issue for you, please contact Lori Yadin (

If you can make a donation to help others who cannot afford the full registration or might otherwise not be able to participate, your generosity will be gratefully received. Please make out a separate check for your donation. You will receive a letter acknowledging your tax-deductible donation through our partner for this retreat, Create Safe Space, Inc., a 501C-3 Non-Profit.  The mission of this organization is to create and support experiences that are rooted in safe space, those that open individuals to seeing themselves, others, and their communities through a lens that illuminates our shared humanity.

Questions about this retreat?  Contact…

Lori Schulman Yadin at

Loading Map....

Find other events in these categories:

Share this on: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone