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Continuing Education

Empowering Leadership Through Writing: A Courage to Lead Retreat with Kim Stafford

Date: October 3, 2019 Location: Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

Empowering Leadership Through Writing is a Courage to Lead retreat designed to offer participants the time and space to reflect on the complex, challenging, and changing dimensions of leadership, rooted in the belief that effective leadership flows from the identity and integrity of the individual. As a leader, you can empower and deepen your leadership during challenging times by using writing as a tool for learning.

Guest author and Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford, will lead us through multiple opportunities to bring our inner voice to the written page. This is not meant to be academic writing but a time to use written words to state our truth, to pursue hope, and to raise our voices. No former writing or publishing experience is necessary!

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. In this Courage to Lead retreat you will join other change-makers who dare to engage their work with presence and compassion.

Why I Am a Teacher After the Election

When I ask my students why they have joined our writing circle, they may say “I need to let my love happen.” Or “I need to make a book of letters to my wife while I still can.” Or “After I was robbed, I needed the story of what I cherished that was gone.”

So we sing praise. Tell legends of the good. Story the lives of simple saints and worthy witnesses. Speak comfort to fear And truth to power. We say what is.

Kim Stafford, The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems (January 2017)

This retreat offers the opportunity to:

  • Write your leadership journey in the presence of other leaders, writers and author/poet Kim Stafford. Listen to the writing of others and share your writing.
  • Consider your creative edges and horizons through reflection, dialogue and writing.
  • Build thoughtful understanding of your leadership challenges. Write your way to new ideas and solutions.
  • 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.

Participants often mention the level of support found in Courage to Lead retreats as an important factor in the ways in which they are able to bring a new level of insight and energy to their work. Courage to Lead is designed to help leaders move beyond the “what” and “how” questions of leadership, to the “who” questions of meaning and purpose, of calling, of the relationship of inner life and outer work. We invite you to join us in this opportunity to pause from the fast pace of your life in leadership. View ‘Courage Retreat at a Glance’

Retreat Details & Registration

Dates: Thursday-Saturday, October 3-5, 2019

Times: 5 p.m. Thursday-11:30 a.m. Saturday The retreat will begin with a group dinner on Thursday and conclude before lunch on Saturday. 

Facilitators: Sherri Carreker, MEd, Dawn Montgomery, EdD, Kim Stafford, PhD, Matsya Siosal

Location: Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, 38711 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR

Cost and Accommodation Options: Includes PDUs or Washington Clock Hours. Costs include participation in the retreat, all meals and hotel accommodations.

 Double-occupancy  $575
 Single-occupancy (limited)


A limited number of $400 scholarship rates available. To request a scholarship, please contact Matsya Siosal at and share, to the degree you are comfortable, about your need for scholarship.

  • 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: Student registrations are for current students only and do not include continuing education credit (CEU/PDUs)

Online registration is now closed. To inquire about registering, please contact

About the Facilitators

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 and directed the educational leadership licensing programs at Lewis & Clark College.

Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute which offers courses for teachers and writers, and the author of a dozen books, including 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared. In 2018 he was named by Governor Kate Brown as Oregon’s 9th Poet Laureate, and will tour the state in 2018-2020, offering readings and workshops in schools and libraries to advance literacy and writing.

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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