UPDATE (2/21/24):

The fall 2024 LEAD Institute is full.

All the spots were claimed within 24 hours by waitlist members with early registration access.

Openings may arise due to cancellations or other changes.

So if you'd still like a chance to attend, please join the standby list by clicking the button below.

Those on the list will be offered any available rooms in the order they joined.

Thanks for your interest in the retreat.

RETREAT to advance

Escape to the mountains for 3 days of professional development and healing exclusively for women of color faculty.

Fall 2024: Sept 27-30

Elohee Retreat Center, Sautee Nacoochee, GA

(next retreat is in 2026)

You're a woman of color in your dream job.

Yet, all you feel is bone-tired from:

  • Being simultaneously spotlighted and overlooked
  • Dealing with constant micro (and macro) aggressions
  • Managing outsized service and teaching obligations
  • Having to prove you're good enough over and over and over

Finding the right support seems impossible...until NOW.



A 3-day women of color faculty development retreat that's all about YOU...

your success

your wellness

your joy

On the mountain, you'll experience:

Growth. Explore pathways to healthy progress, advancement, and goal achievement.

Mindfulness. Engage in culturally-sensitive practices that reduce stress, increase focus, and promote healing.

Community. Share in authentic sisterhood where your whole self is recognized and welcomed.

Restoration. Replenish from individual, interpersonal, and systemic challenges faced daily.

What you can expect:


Explore pathways to healthy progress, promotion, and goal achievement.


Engage in practices that reduce stress, increase focus, and promote healing.


Share in authentic sisterhood where your whole self is recognized and welcomed.


Replenish from individual, interpersonal, and systemic challenges faced daily.

 "I know first hand the various ways the academy can be a dangerous place for WOC. This retreat offered me a chance to be my authentic self and feel the love and support I've missed.

Kimberly Nichele Brown, Phd
Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

What's included in LEAD:


  • Three magical nights at Elohee Retreat Center, a breathtaking 220 acre oasis on top of North Georgia's Bald Mountain
  • Lovely accommodations designed to maximize calm and comfort, from the soothing wall colors to the plush, white duvets to the elegant, well-stocked bathrooms
  • Nourishing, delicious meals that are exclusively or mostly vegetarian


  • 14+ hours of programming created with you in mind
  • Expert facilitation focused on the deep interconnectedness among work, wellness, and positionality
  • Warm, effective coaching that recognizes the unique challenges women of color face in the academy


  • Firelight sister circles that invite connection with self, others, and the tranquil surroundings
  • Gentle movement and/or guided hike to restore mind, body, and spirit
  • Time to exhale, unplug, and just be

 "This was a life changing and life affirming experience. I have attended many retreats in my life and none compare to the power of sisterhood that was cultivated here.

Tamika Odum, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Sample Schedule

3:00 - 4:00 PM     Check-In
6:00 - 7:00 PM     Dinner
7:15 - 8:45 PM      Welcome & Orientation

8:00 - 9:00 AM    Breakfast
9:15 - 11:10 AM      Success Workshop
12:00 - 1:00 PM    Lunch
2:00 - 3:00 PM     Optional Restorative Yoga
4:00 - 5:45 PM     Success Workshop
6:00 - 7:00 PM     Dinner
7:00 - 8:30 PM     Firelight Sister Circle/Mindfulness Session

8:00 - 9:00 AM     Breakfast
9:15 - 11:10 AM       Success Workshop
12:00 - 1:00 PM     Lunch
2:00 - 3:00 PM     Optional Guided Hike
4:45 - 5:45 PM      Mindfulness Session
6:00 - 7:00 PM     Dinner
7:00 - 8:30 PM     Success Workshop
8:45 - 10:15 PM     Firelight Sister Circle

8:00 - 9:00 AM     Breakfast
9:00 - 11:00 AM     Closing Session
12:00 - 1:00 PM     Farewell Lunch

Attendees report learning how to better...

Achieve goals

Manage work demands

Cope with stress

Recover from setbacks

"[LEAD] is the space and time to reflect, reset, and recommit that I have sorely needed. I appreciate the ways you see and hear me and all of us."

Maia Butler, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Attendee demographics

Participants are women of color from across faculty ranks and institutions.

Brown University
George Washington University
Lehigh University
Miami University
Simmons University
Southern Illinois University
Spelman College
University of Cincinnati
University of Arizona
University of Connecticut, Storrs
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri-Columbia
University of South Carolina
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University

And more!

Hi! I'm Roxanne, your facilitator.

Psychologist. Professor. Certified Yoga Teacher. 

I've been practicing in the areas of health and wellness for 20+ years.

As a Black feminist woman of multiracial descent (Black/Asian/White), I'm committed to helping women of color find pathways to greater wellness, achievement, and joy through programs like LEAD.

And I know from experience that carving out these pathways is possible, even in terrain filled with systemic, institutional, and interpersonal obstacles.

So if you're in need of deep transformation and sisterhood, meet me on the mountain. Your future self will thank you.   

 "This was an amazing and life-changing experience. It was the first retreat [I've] attended where it was about who I am and not what I do.

Danielle Dickens, PhD
Associate Professor, Spelman College


Includes 14+ hours of programming, meals from arrival dinner to departure day lunch, taxes, optional yoga and hike.

Standard, Single Occupancy


  • Private room
  • Twin bed
  • Shared hall bath*

* Bath is a few steps outside room and shared with only one other LEADer

Premium, Single Occupancy


  • Private room
  • King or 2 twin beds
  • En suite, private bath

Frequently Asked Questions

The mission of LEAD is to support the success, connection, and well-being of women of color faculty, whose unique needs are often overlooked in general professional development offerings. We ask that you honor the spirit of this mission by only registering if you identify as a woman of color faculty.

Although LEADers are asked to attend group sessions with a sense of possibility, openness, and curiosity, I respect the varying comfort levels with disclosure folks might have. As such, any sharing of personal information is by invitation not edict.

Elohee's Bald Mountain accommodations consist of seven cottages tucked along the mountain ridge and built to reduce their impact on the natural environment.

Attention is paid to every detail in an effort to maximize feelings of calm and connection, from the heavy doors with sound reducing seals to the minimalist decor to the soothing paint on the walls to the plush, white duvets that cover each bed and the decorative rugs that adorn the beautiful hardwood floors.

Each cottage is equipped with air conditioning, heat, ceiling fans, and adjustable shades. Sheets, towels, and bath amenities (soap, shampoo, conditioner) are also provided.

There is excellent cellphone service for all the major carriers. No internet access is available; a benefit for a retreat where a goal is to exhale and unplug. If you have to connect to the internet, you will need to bring your own hotspot.

Elohee is two hours from Hartsfield Jackson airport in Atlanta, depending on traffic. If you are flying in for LEAD, you may either rent a car or take the optional shuttle WellAcademic offers for an additional fee. Shuttle seats are limited and you must coordinate your arrival and departure times based on the shuttle schedule. More information is available during the registration period.

Yes, if permitted by your university.

Caveat: Unfortunately, WellAcademic does not accept payment from anyone employed by the state of Georgia, whether using university or personal funds. This restriction is to ensure compliance with conflict of interest, ethical, financial, and other policies that apply to WellAcademic owner and LEAD facilitator Dr. Roxanne Donovan.

Absolutely not! The meals are mostly vegetarian, but the Elohee chef is amazingly skilled at making them delicious and hearty. There is also no shortage of coffee, which is served at every meal. Coffee is even available one hour prior to breakfast for those who can't even imagine starting their day any other way. Tea is available 24 hours a day at the Tea House, a cozy building next to the cottages with lots of windows and comfy chairs.

The terrain is hilly and rugged in areas (e.g., gravel pathways), particularly between the cottages and the communal areas. There are also outdoor steps to some of the locations such as the reflecting pond and fire ring. This makes traversing the property effortful for those with reduced mobility.

Family members are not permitted unless they are woman of color faculty members who have also registered for LEAD.

The registration process starts once you submit the registration form, which is visible when enrollment is open. An invoice based on your registration information will be sent via email within two business days of your submission. Invoices are valid for two weeks. Registration is not confirmed until payment is received.

Although we hope you will attend LEAD, we understand that unexpected life events may prevent you from doing so. If you must cancel, the following refund criteria apply:

  • 120 or more days prior to retreat start date: 100% refund minus $100 administration fee
  • 90 to 119 days prior to retreat start date: 50% refund
  • 0 to 89 days prior to retreat start date: 0% refund

If we must cancel, you will be given the choice of a full refund or alternative dates for a future LEAD offering. We are not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any cancelled LEAD, such as airline tickets and/or other costs associated with preparing for your trip. Participants who are traveling to LEAD via plane are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance covering costs for any loss.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any refunds, credits, or compensation for "no shows," late arrivals, or early departures, regardless of the reason.

LEAD is offered every two years. The next one will be September 2026.

 "[LEAD] is a transformational experience uniquely designed for women of color by women of color.

Crystal Guillory, MA
Assistant Dean, University of Houston-Downtown

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