We capped out our 2023 season with a retreat of The Leadership Alliance with their first cohort of non-profit executives who are black, indigenous and/or other peoples of color (BIPOC). The Leadership Alliance has worked to build an intentional, supportive community of and for BIPOC executives in the non-profit sector. The Alliance seeks to transform the status quo and provide skill-building and resources to facilitate their success while strengthening representation, well being, and performance.
Over a weekend in early December, the group of executives from various mission-oriented nonprofit organizations came together to share experiences, learn new frameworks and foster an intentional community of support for BIPOC leaders. After after arriving and savoring their inaugural lunch, the group enjoyed a tour of the space and learned about the history and mission of The Uplands. They initiated their program with an introduction to a “Thriving Leaders” framework, and proceeded to open the space with drumming and ceremonial practices, which culminated in a candle-light dinner.
The second day began with a yoga class, followed by a hearty breakfast. The group then dove into a day of focused work exploring participants’ motivation and purpose, identities and values. Through group conversation, small groups and solo time, conversations deepened and the sense of community among leadership members grew. The day concluded with a focus on self-care, and participants received a nurturing sound bath to end the day after a grounding meal.
Their final day began with a guided walk across meadows sparkling with frost-tipped grasses. They then resumed their program, considering goals, practices and the support they expect to need in the coming months. They concluded with a gratitude circle in the yoga studio, as they integrated their group process and prepared to transition back home.
It was a blessing to host such an inspiring group of leaders in the fields of changemaking and caregiving, and we look forward to seeing them, and the organizations they lead, flourish in the coming year.