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Courage to Lead for Young Leaders and Activists

Courage to Lead for Young Leaders & Activists
A Courage & Renewal® Retreat

Spring 2018 Retreat in Canada:
May 3-5, 2018 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Applications due February 16, 2018.

You're invited to the next cohort

Pause, Unplug and Explore Questions That Matter to You.

Are you passionate about your vocation or cause, but trying to sustain yourself in the midst of heavy demands and the urgency you feel about making a difference? This retreat is a rare opportunity for renewal, deeper connection with kindred spirits and committed peers, and the chance to engage questions of importance to you.

Courage & Renewal retreats help you become a more self-aware, wholehearted leader. You’ll experience the time and space to renew, reflect, and to:

  • Pause, be still, and disconnect from technology and the pace of a leader’s life.
  • Seek clarity in your vocation and sense of purpose.
  • Name the “leadership moment” you’re currently in and investigate, talk through, and honor both struggles and successes.
  • Witness and be witnessed, listen and be listened to – without performance evaluation, statusizing, or ego.
  • Strengthen your capacity to ask open-ended questions, hold tensions, and rejoin soul and role.


A Past Participant Reflects:
“As a young, incredibly overworked and exhausted individual working for social change, it often becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel … [This retreat] not only allowed me to recognize that this light was already inside me, but helped me fall in love with my work again and look forward to decades more of love and service that I have to give to my movement.”

– Vanessa Valenti, Co-Founder of, Principal in Valenti Martin Media

At the retreat, you and a group of about thirty other young leaders and activists (roughly ages 25-40) will explore the intersection of our inner lives and our leadership in the world. Together, we’ll engage in large- and small-group dialogues focused on evocative texts and questions, experience silence, solitude and journaling for reflection, and tell stories from our own lives and work.

This retreat is modeled on the Circle of Trust® approach developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. You can learn more about “Circles of Trust” at or in Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life.

Calendarorange200x200Courage-170SPRING 2018 PROGRAM IN CANADA DETAILS

Dates: May 3-5, 2018
Venue: Tatamagouche Centre

Tuition: Total cost for the program is $500 CAD, which includes room and board.
Travel: Participants are responsible for their own travel costs.

Apply Now! 
Applications are due February 16, 2018.



Brian Braganza is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator and experiential educator specializing in vocational counselling, sustainability education, masculinity, and youth engagement. He has a long history with the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development and supports a wide diversity of youth and young adults to live into their vocational call and have meaningful roles and voices in their communities. Brian delivers experiential programs for men and boys, which builds their abilities to connect authentically and live into their wholeness and co-designed T.O.N.E., Therapy Outside Normal Environments, a unique men’s therapeutic project. From 2012-2015 he co-designed and delivered Dalhousie University’s Sustainability Leadership Certificate Program, increasing student’s capacity to take effective social and environmental action. Brian’s own personal transformations and continual desire to uncover his best self, led him to the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. He lives in a straw-bale home he built on an old farm near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Brian is also a wilderness traveler, poet and songwriter.

Tara Reynolds is a community organizer with a passion for building trust in relationships and organizations. She is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator and an alumnae of the Vermont Leadership Institute. Tara is a co-founder of WholeHeart, Inc., which seeks to connect like minded individuals and organizations convene experiential learning opportunities and facilitate reflective leadership practices for a more wholehearted world. Tara facilitates Intergenerational Leadership Exchanges which invite emerging and experienced leaders to come together for day-long workshops to exchange ideas and stories and to create new approaches to solving complex problems. Tara finds joy in the wisdom of children, the beauty of the natural world, and the power of a good open and honest question. She lives in Greensboro, Vermont, with a six-year old teacher and spiritual guru named Nadia, who also happens to be her daughter.


"quote-L "quote-RIf we are willing to embrace the challenge of becoming whole … we cannot embrace that challenge all alone, at least not for long; we need trustworthy relationships to sustain us, tenacious communities of support, if we are to sustain the journey toward an undivided life.

Parker J. Palmer, Author, Activist and Center Founder

Parker J. Palmer – What is an Undivided Life?


  • “This gave me the space to slow down, reflect, and reconnect with my motivations in order to better sustain my spirit over the long haul.”
  • “This is the only retreat I’ve attended where I wasn’t constantly critiquing the process and was able to leave behind my cynicism.”
  • “We talked about the deep stuff of life: how to find the courage to rise up within ourselves and inhabit our own most beautiful and authentic life.”
  • “Intense, thoughtful, emotional. It was great to connect with peers who are going through similar life-changes and exploring similar life-questions about work, relationships, wellness, and the challenge of balancing it all.”
  • “This experience felt “egoless” in a good way; didn’t ask us to present our credentials.”
  • “An amazing group of people on the social-change spectrum coming together in an intimate setting to talk about our challenges, not tactically but emotionally.”
  • “One of the things they do well is to ask good questions. Every time we would break out with prompts, I thought “these are such beautiful questions” – questions that you can always return to, eternal, essential questions.”
  • “Lots of progressive organizations don’t value introspection but they really need it.”
  • “I feel the experience was totally honest – the desire to cultivate resources within us without a pre-determined outcome. I have been to many “leadership cultivating” type events… Those felt more like preparing to preserve self for benefit of institution. This was open-ended and I was trusted to live out what I learned in a multiple of ways.”
  • “I’ve never experienced anything like that. It really felt like a sacred place, and space was created. I enjoyed how the structure & positioning of the retreat pulled us into our souls without pulling us out of the world (which happens on some retreats). I still felt deeply connected to ‘worldly’ issues.”
  • “I have been at retreats (professional) where it is said that we have all the wisdom we need in the room. The Clearness Committee and so much of the work showed to me that the creators really believe that! We have the wisdom that we need. I left with a stronger belief and trust that my inner teacher is the most trustworthy guide for my life – as it is for others.”
  • “…it was exactly what I needed and I didn’t even realize it. So many times I have gone to retreats and for whatever reason I feel pressure to be someone different and pressure to reach a certain goal. Here there was a foundation of safety & wonder that helped me see possibilities that I hadn’t been able to before.”
  • Over those brief few days in Georgia, I felt the weight of overwhelm and burnout I had been carrying for months gently dissolve, and in its place, new seeds of energy and inspiration began to germinate. The retreat truly gave me the courage and renewal I needed to step into the next level of leadership, and continue on my path of doing the work that my soul and the world are asking me to do.”



Contact Brian Braganza,
or call the Center at (206) 466-2055

We hope you’ll join us!