Contemplative Leadership for Justice

The Contemplative Leadership for Justice (CLJ) Program is a joint project between myself and Jacob Cunningham, director of the VISION program at the University of St. Thomas.  We created it as a way to help VISION student leaders, who will be leading immersion trips with university students over spring break, develop contemplative spiritual practices that enable them to link personal and social transformation in pursuit of a more just world.   In Leading from Within, the Quaker activist and educator Parker Palmer writes that

A leader is someone with the power to project either shadow or light upon some part of the world, and upon the lives of the people who dwell there. A leader shapes the ethos in which others must live, an ethos as light-filled as heaven or as shadowy as hell. A good leader has high awareness of the interplay of inner shadow and light, lest the act of leadership do more harm than good.

  • Parker Palmer

The CLJ introduces leaders to mindfulness and contemplative practices that support the spirituality of effective leadership, especially for those who seek to work on behalf of justice and the common good.  This program is well-suited for adaptation in colleges or university programs that seek to integrate leadership development with service, justice, and spirituality.  Please contact me if you are interested in consultation about using or adapting this program for your group or institution.

Click on the highlighted text to view a sample: CLJ Sample.  (Please note that this is copyrighted material and may not be used or distributed without permission.)


* The Zen swoosh with flames and cover art pictured above are courtesy of Valerie Boyd of BoyDesigns (




One Comment on “Contemplative Leadership for Justice

  1. Pingback: “People’s Suffering is Sacred”: Colbert on Suffering, Faith | Thomas J. Bushlack, Ph.D.

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