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Support Group


October 7 - 9, 2024 | Lone Rock Retreat

Greetings Fellows! Below you will find information on how to prepare for the LGBTQIA+ Convening taking place at Lone Rock Retreat in Bailey, Colorado. Additionally, please review Pahara’s health and safety protocols for in-person gatherings during your time at Lone Rock Retreat:


"This was the single most powerful

Pahara experience I've had."

- Past Participant


This convening is designed to bring together LGBTQIA+ Paharans to connect & build community at the Lone Rock Retreat campus in Bailey, Colorado.


This program emerges in response to a need identified by our community to respond to this fractured and fragile moment for LGBTQIA+ leaders in education. We believe in building towards a braver and empowered world for LGBTQIA+ people, especially the young people in our communities, and this convening will be a space where we can bring our full selves and connect with one another toward that end. During this gathering, we will engage readings to provoke discussions; fireside chat testimonials to amplify voices; activities for the mind, body, and spirit; and take advantage of open space to reflect and organize toward personal and/or collective action.



The goals of this convening are to: 


  1. Build trust and community among Pahara’s LBGTQIA+ Fellows. 

  2. Invite Fellows to share and learn from one another in service of a more affirming world for LGBTQIA+ people.


We aim to bring together Paharans who identify as LGBTQIA+, and will focus on deep community building and the potential for coalition forging in the field. Significant diversity exists within this demographic, including along lines of race, gender expression, sexual orientation, generation, and political ideologies. This convening will acknowledge and hold space for the range of experiences and identities that will be present in the room.


100% of last year's participants indicated

that this was a top leadership development experience of their careers.


Primary Contact

Date & Time

Prior to the event, please direct all logistical questions to

Start: Monday, October 7, 2024 – 5:00 pm, Reception & Dinner

End: Wednesday, October 9, 2024 – 12:00 pm, Lunch (to go)


Lone Rock Retreat

64797 US HWY 285

Bailey, CO 804210


Reading materials will be shared by early August 2024. Please email if you have not received your reading materials by August 16, 2024.


100% of last year's participants reported that the experience created meaningful new connections with other LGBTQIA+ Paharans.

What to Expect

The initial retreat for RLP will convene the week after Easter at Lone Rock Retreat in Bailey, Colorado from April 19-21, 2022. We endeavor to combine the strengths of the Pahara leadership development approach with a Christ-centered retreat experience. A successful retreat will mean leaders have had the space to share their faith, reflect on ways to bring their faith into their work, find some sense of spiritual renewal from the time together, and initiate new relationships with other believers.     

    Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis and, while they are not required for entry into the Fellowship, they are critical to our ability to identify exceptional leaders from across the education ecosystem. Ideally, a nominator knows enough about the leader’s work to share their thoughts on why they would be an excellent choice for the Fellowship. Each nominee is notified and invited to submit an application for consideration. We believe that a broad, diverse coalition is needed to reimagine the role and manner of education in society. While the Fellowship is open to all education leaders who meet our selection criteria, we are particularly seeking to identify innovative leaders of nonprofit schools and from organizations serving nonprofit schools, and leaders bringing perspectives from across the political spectrum. We are sensitive to the ways sponsorship practices can disadvantage women and Black, Indigenous and leaders of color who are less likely to have sponsors. When thinking of incredible changemakers to bring to our attention, we encourage nominators to consider leaders from within and outside of their close circles.
    Leaders who meet our program criteria are welcome to apply to the Fellowship, with or without a nomination. The application is an essential and required part of the process, and allows candidates to share information about their work and leadership, alignment with our selection criteria, and how they most hope to benefit from participation in this powerful development experience. For applicants advancing beyond this stage, this information serves as rich background information on which to base deep, reflective dialogue during interviews taking place during candidate consideration. While the Fellowship is open to all education leaders who meet our selection criteria, we are particularly seeking to identify innovative leaders of nonprofit schools and from organizations serving nonprofit schools, and leaders bringing perspectives from across the political spectrum.
    During this stage, we seek to understand candidates’ motivations and challenges, learn more about their background and leadership journey, and determine candidates’ willingness and ability to negotiate the multiple domains of difference that contribute to the tapestry of Pahara cohorts. Candidates participate in a 90-minute virtual interview with a Pahara Fellow or a member of Pahara staff via Zoom. This conversation also provides candidates an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Fellowship. The interview is followed by referencing carried out by our team. This includes reviewing feedback provided by the three references named by the candidate, and checking for potential conflicts of interest amongst candidates being selected into the same cohort. We may also reach out to Fellows in our community who are familiar with a candidate’s work to understand the full scope of their leadership. Given the degree of openness and vulnerability expected in this phase of our process, information shared with us by candidates or in the reference process is held with the highest degree of confidentiality.
    Once we have identified a pool of values-driven leaders who have demonstrated readiness throughout the selection process, we begin the careful, complex process of curating cohorts. We aim for cohorts that are inclusive of the breadth of our humanity across multiple domains of difference, including socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious affiliation, and political ideology. Cohorts are also distinctive in their inclusion of leaders from various organization models, multiple sectors in education, different geographic regions, and various leadership roles. This careful cohort curation is critical, as the cohort is the container within which the personal and professional transformation Pahara is most known for occurs. Cohort dialogue is confidential and both professional and personal in nature. We seek to foster an environment that celebrates the lived experiences of all of our Fellows.
    We strongly believe curating a myriad of perspectives in each group is a vital component of the program’s value and impact on participants. We receive many more nominations and applications than we have available seats in each cohort, and because of this level of demand, we are sometimes unable to select leaders who meet our selection criteria. When a candidate meets the selection criteria but is not placed, we encourage them to opt-in to be considered for a future cohort, which can take time. It is not uncommon for a Pahara Fellowship candidate to be considered for a few years before being selected or released.

Express interest in attending the
LGBTQIA+ Convening by Thursday, May 9th:

"I am leaving in awe about how much this experience has impacted me and how needed this kind of experience was for our community."


- Past Participant

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