Cultivating Women’s Leadership Trainings (CWL)
These 6‐day residential intensives bring together impassioned women from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds to learn from and with each other. Rooted in values of respect, humility, creativity, intentionality and inquiry, CWL trainings develop women’s leadership by:
- Featuring experiential learning and transformative leadership practices including arts, ritual, movement and storytelling that help connect the personal with the structural, systemic and political
- Consciously shedding insidious beliefs, stories and biases that can limit women’s leadership capacity and considering new ideas, narratives or frameworks in their stead
- Surfacing and appreciating what women uniquely bring to reinventing leadership while integrating healthy feminine and masculine characteristics for full‐spectrum leadership
- Prioritizing connecting across differences as an essential leadership skill
- Connecting women to networks of diverse peers for ongoing coaching, influence, access and support
Emphasis is placed on: practices for skill‐building and leadership cultivation; strengthening both gender and racial justice lenses and analyses; making visible the legacy of imbalance reflected in our decision‐making, organizations, and society at large; and connecting towards collaboration across cultural divides, siloes and differences. Each cohort of 20 women is selected for their significant capacities to influence change in their communities and also to optimize diversity, with at least 30% women of color. Participants come to:
- clarify their own sense of purpose, calling or unique ‘assignment’
- embody new forms of leadership and self‐identity
- integrate the wisdom of nature and their own intuition
- embrace a whole‐person approach, integrating emotions, embodiment and spirituality as well as shadow material
- learn skills to further their own and others’ ongoing leadership cultivation, and experience how deeply, rapidly and enduringly women in a community of peers can grow each other’s capacity and effectiveness
The program’s uniqueness is in its systemic or intersectional approach to leadership. Rather than focusing on either internal work or skill‐building for external change, CWL connects personal awareness practices with increased capacity to be bold and effective multi‐cultural leaders in the world. Alumnae report lasting and profound impacts, including many who have had extensive prior leadership experience. You can hear their own words by clicking here.
How can I tell if CWL is a good fit for me?
Cultivating Women’s Leadership is intended for women of all ages, ethnicities, orientations and backgrounds who are passionate about bringing progressive and life-affirming change to their communities, and who have a significant capacity to reach people, through their relationships, positions or influence. It has proven consistently useful to women at all phases of their leadership development, including deeply experienced leaders in their fields. Both extroverts and introverts have loved it, and found it immensely useful. It’s especially good for women who love to learn, and believe that cultivating our inner landscape and stories can have big impacts on how we show up in the world. We enjoy having women from all sectors, including non-profit leaders and community organizers, businesswomen and entrepreneurs, and women working in academia, science, arts and policy.
How do I apply?
In many ways, the training begins when you fill out the application for this year’s intensive, either California or New Mexico. Please consider your responses carefully so that they reflect your consideration.
How we select our cohort
We choose the women of each cohort to reflect the following priorities:
- To optimize difference, among age, race, background, orientation and issue area
- For women who are passionate about being effective change-makers, and
- For women who have a strong circle of relationships, or capacity to influence change in their communities.
As we are always raising funds to support scholarship access to lower-income women, anyone who is moved to contribute to our scholarship fund will be gratefully appreciated. Our commitment is to have a minimum of 30% women of color leaders in each cohort, to offer everyone the greatest experience of connecting across difference, and to contribute toward the future possibility of a women’s movement capable of reaching across race and class and generational divides. We encourage women of any sexual orientation to apply, as the cross-pollination of difference offers benefits to each of our learning and leadership cultivation. If you are not selected, please know that this does NOT reflect any judgment of your skillfulness or abilities, but may simply be because we there were others like you, and we needed to select for a fuller spectrum of difference. We sincerely hope you’ll apply again, and stay connected to our CWL communities through our Facebook page.
The actual cost per woman for food, lodging and registration is $1950. If you can pay the full amount, and contribute to our scholarship fund to support lower-income women attending, we will be most grateful, and it may increase the likelihood of your being accepted into the cohort. Our goal is to assemble a terrific group of women, with few limitations due to their capacity to pay. That being said, many women have successfully raised funds from their communities to support their attending.
It is hard to predict how much scholarship support we can raise for each training, though we are deeply committed, so entering in the highest amount you can contribute to the actual cost of the retreat is immensely helpful.