This fully virtual daylong retreat takes place on Friday July 26th from 9am-2:30pm PDT / 10am-3:30pm MDT / 12pm-5:30pm EDT with a 1 hour break from 11:30am-12:30pm PDT/ 12:30pm-1:30pm MDT/ 2:30pm-3:30pm EDT. 

This retreat is for you if: 

  • You see conflict and violence in your communities, families, workplaces, and relationships and want the skills and strategies to intervene without escalating
  • You believe that violence can be addressed in community without depending on the police or prisons, but are not quite sure of how to get there
  • You can be self critical and/or perfectionistic and want to abolish your “inner cop”
  • People open up to you about their traumas or interpersonal issues and you want more skills to be meaningfully supportive
  • You have been struggling with burnout, or feeling overextended in your life - particularly because of the emotional labor you provide at home, at work, and/or in your family and friend groups
  • You tend to be drawn into everyone’s conflicts and dramas and want clearer strategies to provide support while maintaining boundaries
  • You sometimes (or often) feel overwhelmed by the violence in the world, and want strategies to rebuild a sense of hope in humanity and our collective futures
  • You want to support survivors and/or those who have committed harm but are worried about compounding the harm instead of helping

bluelight academy's Transformative Justice retreat is an overview of core Transformative Justice roots and practices. Together we will review where this practice comes from, as well as the steps facilitate a community accountability process.

So what is Transformative Justice?

“Transformative Justice (TJ) is a framework and approach for responding to violence, harm and abuse. At its most basic, it seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence. TJ can be thought of as a way of “making things right,” getting in “right relation,” or creating justice together.

Transformative Justice responses and interventions

1) do not rely on the state (e.g. police, prisons, the criminal legal system, I.C.E., foster care system; 

2) do not reinforce or perpetuate violence such as oppressive norms or vigilantism;

and most importantly, 3) actively cultivate the things we know prevent violence such as healing, accountability, resilience, and safety for all involved.”

- Mia Mingus (with editing support from Ejeris Dixon, Mariame Kaba, Andi Gentile and Javiera Torres), via Leaving Evidence

This course is taught by Spring Up

Spring Up is a collective of 11 Transformative Justice practitioners, liberatory educators, and care coaches; after over a decade of practicing Transformative Justice in our lives we decided to create a platform and connection space for people exploring and living into collective liberation. This course has been developed in community and collaboration with organizers, students, educators, care workers, and advocates, including the 700 alumni who provided feedback and dozens who have contributed reflections which are incorporated into the platform content.

Breakout Groups

We intentionally pair breakout groups based on the kind of work participants do or challenges they are dealing with. You will be with a group of 4-7 other participants and one Spring Up facilitator, with space to get to know one another, set your intentions, and share how you are entering the space / what your access needs are for the day. 

If 4 or more people from the same organization register together, you will have a private breakout group with an aligned facilitator. The breakout space can be used to strengthen relationships among colleagues as well as problem solve and strategize around your programs and how you will directly implement what you learn. 


Before the retreat, we encourage you to let us know if you have specific accessibility needs that you would like us to meet. You can request live ASL interpretation, Spanish interpretation, visual descriptions, or other needs. Please try to give us at least 2 weeks notice for ASL or Spanish access. 

Registration for this course includes a 1:1 coaching session with one of our coaches. Spring Up coaching is a peer-based, flexible, non-therapy offering to help you clarify your goals and build your self-care and communication skills. 

Our collaborative approach to coaching is based in a non-hierarchical relationship that is solution focused — coaches recognize that clients are experts in their own lived experience. Coaching is strengths-based and culturally specific in that coaches help the client enhance their inherent strengths, skills, and resources accessible to them. Spring Up coaching has an expectation that the client is ready to engage in further learning and implementation of that learning outside of the session. 

During Welcome Week, you will be introduced to the coaches for this term as well as receive their calendars to sign up.

During the retreat itself:

  • There will be plenty of space for you to ask questions or guide the learning based on what you need support in
  • We encourage you to take care of yourself and do what will make you feel most comfortable including standing up, sitting down, laying down, stimming, turning your camera off, eating, moving around, stepping in and out of the room as needed
  • Closed captions will be on for the entire retreat and all text on slides will be read aloud. There is also space for you to let your facilitator and breakout group peers know if there are other requests that could support you
  • Most slides have accompanying visuals to support you in digesting information through text and imagery
  • There are consistent breaks and pauses throughout the retreat in addition to the 1 hour break in the middle of the day
  • Some breakout prompts include the option to journal independently instead of having conversation which allows you to choose how you prefer to digest and integrate what you are learning
  • There are optional prompts throughout the day for somatic and embodied activities to get you into your body or to play a game. It is totally up to you if that is something that feels right, or if you would prefer to opt out. 

Once the retreat is complete, you will get access to the slides from the day as well as suggestions for how you can learn more about the topics explored within the retreat. We will also share a feedback form for you to tell us how the experience was for you or if you have any suggestions to make it a better experience in the future. 

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