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  • Courtney S.

Staff Retreat in Review

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

The pandemic made face-to-face connections difficult for many, including Sojourner staff. Since it has become safer to gather, we recently held a staff retreat. Having all of our staff together meant we were able to reflect on our work and (re)connect with each other.

Staff spent time reflecting on Sojourner and our goals by first discussing our mission – to advocate for victim safety, support the transition from victim to survivor, and educate for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence. We considered how far we’ve come in the last 40 years and where we are heading in the years to come. We also took time to become reacquainted with each other through team-building activities, like Sojourner-themed Jeopardy and paired discussions. We took advantage of our time together to do some training on self-care and power & privilege. Staff discussed the impact privilege and identity have on our work and participated in mindful movement and guided meditation exercises.

Our Executive Director, Laura, shares the following:

We needed time and space to reconnect as a team after weathering through a pandemic – a staff retreat was the answer! We were so fortunate to be gifted space by the Minnetonka Police Department to host our day long retreat off-site at their facility. The day was filled with opportunities to connect, provide program updates, narrow in on our vision and goals, discuss and prioritize self-care, and of course…a day to have fun!

As we closed out the day…I read some words which I feel exemplify our team

… "Your True North is your orienting point – your fixed point in a spinning world – that helps you stay on track… It is derived from your most deeply held beliefs, your values, and the principles you lead by. By shifting your focus from yourself to serving others, you make the transformation from I…to… We. Having this clarity enables you to empower your teammates to lead around a common purpose and shared purpose. Life is about serving something or someone greater than ourselves – a worthy cause, an organization important to you, your family, or a friend in need. Your true north shows the way to finding and fulfilling your life purpose – the way in which you use the unique gifts you bring to this world.” (Discover Your True North, Bill George)

I continue to be grateful for this team – the expertise, unique gifts and talents, the passion, and the willingness to go above and beyond to support those victimized by domestic and sexual violence. What a gift and privilege to work alongside each of these individuals!

It was wonderful to have time to nurture our connections to one another and to our work! We are so excited to have more time together as staff in the future. Thank you to Minnetonka Police and Fire for providing space for our retreat, and to Caribou Coffee for donating coffee that got the day off to a great start.


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