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Continuing Education

Courage to Lead: Healing the Heart of Democracy

Date: September 19, 2019 Location: Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

At the heart of authentic leadership is the courage to be fully human, to take risks, to care deeply and to take action even in the midst of change and uncertainty.

Healing the Heart of Democracy is a Courage to Lead retreat offering leaders the time and space to reflect and focus on how we can hold the tensions of our world, and work toward connecting, healing and changing our communities. This retreat will focus on understanding and building the “habits of the heart of democracy”, adapted from Parker Palmer’s book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create A Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.

We invite you to join us in this opportunity to pause and disconnect from the fast pace and distractions of daily life, and join other change-makers who dare to engage in their work with presence and compassion. 

A following retreat, Finding the Light During Dark Times, will be held in December. In this retreat, participants will explore tools and resources to build greater resilience amid the challenges they navigate as leaders. You are able to register for both retreats together at a reduced rate.

“The insight I gained at this retreat has led to positive changes in how I process situations personally and professionally, and has led me down a new path of mindfulness and growth.” - 2019 Participant, School Counselor 

Both retreats will provide time and space for deep reflection, renewal, and the opportunity to:

  • Learn, experience and reflect on the critical elements or “habits of the heart” that support our democracy.

  • Build thoughtful understanding of your leadership challenges.

  • Kindle your passion to lead change, resilience and resistance.

  • Engage with others holding similar questions for their lives, listening deeply and sharing our stories.

  • Learn and participate in a Clearness Committee, designed after a beautiful problem-solving model from the 1600’s.

Who should attend?
Courage to Lead is open to those in leadership roles from diverse fields. Leadership can be reflected in whichever way we show up in the world through our professional, family, or community life.

Questions? Please contact Dawn Montgomery

Fall Session Details & Registration

Dates & Times: Thursday-Saturday, September 19-21, 2019. Retreats begin at 5 p.m. and end at 11:30 a.m.
Location: Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, 38711 E Historic Columbia River Hwy Corbett, OR
Facilitators: Dawn Montgomery, EdD; Sherri Carreker, MEd; Kevin Bacon, MEd; Matsya Siosal

Cost and Accommodation Options: Includes 15 PDUs or Washington Clock Hours (please contact to let us know if you are seeking Clock Hours). Costs include participation in the retreat, all meals and double-occupancy accommodations.

One retreat (Fall)  $550
Two retreats (Fall & Winter)  $1,000
Scholarship rate two retreats  $600
Scholarship rate single retreat  $350

Scholarships: A limited number of scholarships are available to make the retreat more accessible to all resource levels. To request a scholarship, please contact Matsya Siosal at and share, to the degree you are comfortable, about your need for scholarship.

Graduate-level credit: A retreat session can be taken for 2 semester hours of graduate-degree applicable credit (and applied to a Professional Administrator License). Please contact Dawn Montgomery for more details at

Register now

  • We are committed to making our events accessible to all needs and abilities. When registering, let us know your access needs. Please contact us at 503-768-6040 or with questions.

    Please note: Discounted ‘Student Rate’ registrations are for current students only and do not include continuing education credit (CEU/PDUs)

About the Facilitators

Kevin Bacon is a seasoned educator who has has dedicated his life work to student outcomes and community engagement. Prior to his appointment as Director of the Condordia 3 to PhD Collaborative, Kevin served as principal of Boise-Eliot/Humboldt PK-12 school in northeast Portland. In addition, he has over 32 years of educational experience working in all sectors of the city with every community and student demographic. He has been a teacher, student management specialist, biotech education coordinator, vice principal, principal and facilitator of Courage to Lead, a professional development series for school administrators. Over the years, by building partnerships and focusing on the collective impact of the students and community, Kevin has ensured that his schools have had a healthy balance of support for whole-child development and health. Kevin has a wife and three children and loves spending his leisure time golfing and enjoying sports.

Sherri Carreker Sherri has served 44 years in public education Pre-K through 12. Her roles varied from teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal to professional development consultant. In addition to her public school experience, she worked within the Teacher Education Department, chaired the Educational Leadership Department, and directed the Center for Community Engagement at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College. Currently, she serves as a Courage & Renewal facilitator and volunteers in the community.

Dawn Montgomery Dawn’s 32 years in K-12 education supports her service to the professional development of leaders. Her varied work experience include elementary and middle school teacher, middle and high school vice principal, high school principal, and district office director overseeing K-12 schools and many district programs and initiatives. Besides serving as a Courage and Renewal facilitator, she is an executive performance coach, an equity trainer and facilitator. Previously, she directed the educational leadership licensing programs at Lewis & Clark College.

Matsya Siosal’s professional background includes leadership positions with for-profit corporations small and large, mission-driven consumer goods companies, and in higher education. Currently she directs the Center for Community Engagement at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Matsya was introduced to Courage and Renewal when she joined Lewis & Clark in 2010, and participated in her first Courage to Lead retreat in June of 2015. Since then she has continued to participate in Courage retreats at least once annually. She finds that Courage retreats provide the time and space to experience what it is like to, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “dwell in possibility”. Courage to Lead programs have enabled Matsya to navigate the challenges that come with leadership with more clarity and resilience, as well as supported her in creating greater balance and wholeness within the personal and professional dimensions of her life. Currently in the facilitator preparation apprenticeship program, Matsya is excited to incorporate Courage to Lead facilitation into her career, as a means to provide space for people to do that very counter-cultural act of slowing down, practicing radical self-care, and tuning in to their own innate wisdom.

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