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Support Group


AUGUST 14 - 18, 2023


In this moment of polarization and fracture, what values guide my life and leadership? As education leaders with diverse ideologies, where can our interests align? How do we move forward?

This convening emerges in response to a need identified by our Fellows to further explore their values within the context of current tensions in society. Our community, from across the political spectrum, has named a desire to gain clarity on the values that most strongly influence their lives and leadership, and to engage with one another across differences in order to better enable young people to thrive. 

Values in Tension will have the following outcomes:

  1. Fellows will deepen their understanding of themselves, their values, and the intersection of the two in life and leadership. 

  2. Fellows will identify and build community with Paharans across political ideologies who are committed to collaboration and locating shared interest. 

  3. Fellows will address current challenges in their work and our nation, and build stamina around the process of staying open amidst tension in dialogue. 

  4. Fellows will actively work toward identifying action steps our fields must take toward shaping and maintaining “the good society.”

This convening will be powerful for all Fellows but might be particularly beneficial for those navigating political ideologies, including:

  1. Fellows who are elected officials.

  2. Fellows with ideological or political differences within their families or personal lives.

  3. Fellows directing communications and media. 

  4. Fellows managing organizations in politically volatile states.

  5. Fellows leading organizations with generational and ideological differences.

This pilot convening will be hosted at the Lone Rock Retreat campus in Bailey, Colorado. We are grateful for the support of our Pahara Fellow steering committee Charles McDonald, Jamie Candee, Kira Orange Jones, Bill Jackson, Ebbie Parsons, and Adam Falkner.

"I am attending this convening because I hope to build a stronger sense of community and resilience with others who are also courageously navigating similar challenges. I also hope to continue to build a set of skills that will enable me to pursue greater impact going forward."

Kira Orange-Jones
CEO, Teach Plus

“F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Pahara's upcoming "Values in Tension" convening will build our capacities to understand and navigate among the values that underlie conflict and progress at work, in families, and in society. That is why I'm attending.”

Bill Jackson
Founder, Raise Ready Kids

“To me, the timing of this convening is essential in advancing our individual and collective work, and the myriad of challenges we are experiencing as leaders in education. This convening will help us grapple with how our values may or may not align to the compromises we must make to lead progress in educational equity.”

Jamie Candee
CEO, Edmentum



Monday, August 14, 2023


Friday, August 18, 2023


Lone Rock Retreat

64797 US HWY 285

Bailey, CO 804210


Pahara will sponsor participant’s lodging, meals and ground transportation. Funding for flights will be available upon request.


The Expression of Interest period is closed for this event, and we are currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email

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.     

    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.
    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, including but not limited to experience in nonprofit schools, out of/after school learning, human capital, technology, juvenile justice, political and policy strategy, future of work/workforce development, community wellness and mental health, college access and success, faith-based organizations, community based organizations and philanthropy. Ideally, you know enough about the leader’s work to share your thoughts on why they would be an excellent choice for the Fellowship. 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.
    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. We conduct a 90-minute Zoom interview with candidates. This interview is followed by referencing carried out by our team. Given the degree of openness and vulnerability expected in this phase of our process, information shared with us by candidates or in reference interviews is held with the highest degree of confidentiality.
    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 diversity and lived experiences of all of our Fellows.
    We typically receive many more nominations and applications than we have available seats in each cohort. We strongly believe that creating the ideal blend of perspectives in each group is a vital component of the program’s value and impact on participants. Candidates who are not selected may choose to opt-in to be considered for a future cohort.
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