GilChrist Retreat Equity Fund
Because we believe that retreat for healing and self-care should be accessible and inviting to all, we have established the GilChrist Retreat Equity Fund.
What is the fund for?
The purpose of the GilChrist Retreat Equity Fund is to remove practical barriers to retreat and to serve as a practice of social transformation on the journey toward liberation for all. In that spirit, the fund supports individuals who embody one or more marginalized identities in participating in or leading retreats. The fund is one way we are seeking to repair inequity within the sphere of our work by improving access to contemplative retreat.
Who is the fund for?
Qualities such as race and national origin, gender and sexual identity, physical and cognitive ability, and generational poverty are directly related to unequal access to wealth, job opportunities, health care, education, and so much more. This fund represents an invitation to retreat for those who experience barriers in daily life due to discrimination and systemic oppression.
What does the fund cover?
A sliding scale for overnight fees is available to all guests of GilChrist at any time without application to the equity fund. Simply make a reservation as usual and pay what you can at the end of your stay. The fund is available to cover additional retreat-related expenses such as:
- Program fees for facilitated retreats
- Overnight lodging for personal retreats at one of our neighboring retreat centers: the Hermitage Community, Apple Farm Community, or St. Gregory’s Abbey
- Expenses such as childcare, lost wages, or mileage, that may be a barrier to taking or leading a retreat
- Facilitator fees in support of marginalized individuals and/or populations (for example, a sign language or foreign language interpreter)
- Financial assistance for facilitators who wish to defray the individual program cost of a retreat that is led by and for people who embody marginalized identities
What is not covered by the fund?
The fund does not cover airfare, train tickets, or mileage over 200 miles.
How do you review applications?
The majority of applications are reviewed by the Head Caretaker at GilChrist and our intention is to respond to all applicants within five business days. When there are any questions about how an application serves our overarching goal of equitable access to retreat, we will also consult with Fetzer staff who helped establish this fund and, when needed, will be directly in touch with the applicants.
What happens if my application is approved?
Based on the nature of the retreat you intend and which retreat center you prefer, we’ll send you instructions for how to make a reservation. We will work with you to coordinate the necessary paperwork for reimbursement. Expenses will be reimbursed directly to you or the appropriate individual or organization as soon as possible upon completion of the retreat. That said, we fully understand that some expenses may need to be paid in advance (for example, a sign language interpreter who requires a deposit to reserve dates on their schedule, a deposit for a facilitated retreat, or retreat-related expenses for someone on a very limited income). If this is the case, please let us know so we can make sure timing is not a barrier.