Next Retreat

Telling the Tales: The Power of Story and Narrative for Personal & Social Transformation

Enuma Okoro

Special Guest: Enuma Okoro

When: March 1-6, 2020

Where: Serra Retreat Center — Malibu, California

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Description — We live in a time where issues of identity and belonging are points of both public and private controversy and debate, and determine the outcomes of the lives of millions of people.  It is essential to know the role that stories and narratives play in our perceptions and in our actions in the world.  But this begins by acknowledging and owning our own stories and working narratives. Understanding the power of stories and narratives is a matter of us living well in the world together, and effecting transformative change for our local and global communities.This retreat will focus on the power of story and narrative and learning to tell ours for the benefit of personal and social transformation.

Format — Each day includes lecture and dialogue with Enumo Okoro; small group community around spiritual reading; corporate and individual times of silence and contemplation; worship with Eucharist; and communing with God through movement, art, and nature.

Retreat Location — Serra Retreat Center
The Serra Retreat Center, located in Malibu, California is a community of Spanish Mission-style buildings that have been the home to the Franciscan Friars of California for over a half a century and include dazzling 360-degree views of the eastern mountains, canyons and the Pacific Ocean.  Visit for more information.

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Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American author, speaker, lecturer and consultant whose work explores Identity and Culture, Africa and the Diaspora, Holistic Wellness and Spirituality, and the transforming Power of Story and Narrative. Her work explores how stories (told and believed) are the central way of shaping human perspectives and behavior. Currently at work on a novel about identity and notions of home, Okoro has published four books of nonfiction, and her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, CNN African Voices, AEON Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The UK and US Guardian, The Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and other media outlets.

In addition to writing Okoro speaks and teaches seminars, leads developmental workshops and retreats, and coaches on the topics; Understanding and Using the Power of Narrative for Transforming Communities and Relationships, Identity and (Dis)Belonging, Spirituality and Holistic Wellness, Personal Well-being and Development, and Living with Intention and Alignment of Purpose.

Born in New York City and raised in Cote D’Ivoire, England, North America and Nigeria, Okoro has taught spiritual and creative writing workshops at Princeton Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, The Collegeville Institute and more. She has been the recipient of writing fellowships at The Callaloo Creative Writing Program at Brown University, The KimbilioWriting Residency in Taos, New Mexico and The CivitellaRanieri Foundation’s International Artists Residency Program in Umbria, Italy. 

Her educational training and professional background is in Creative Writing, Psychology and Communication, Family Systems Therapy and Human Development, and Theology. She is a certified coach and spiritual director in the Jesuit-Ignatian tradition.

Her first book, Reluctant Pilgrim was recognized by USA Book News as a 2010 Best Books Award Winning Finalist for Religion, and received the 2011 Indie National Book Awards Winning Finalist in Spirituality and Non-Fiction.

In 2018 she was recognized by The Guardian Nigerian national newspaper as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria. 

As an international speaker, Okoro had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to speak from the historic 200 year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak  from the same platform in 1965, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in  Oslo. 

Her multiple speaking invitations have included a TEDxtalk in London on global perceptions of multicultural women, identity and the power of cultural narratives, the Harvard Business School, Oxford University, The Policy Center for the New South’s Atlantic Dialogues Conference in Marrakech, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, Princeton University, The Bloomberg Media Conference and more.

Enuma was enthusiastically received as our speaker in August 2015 at Companions in Tahoe and we are delighted to have her with us again.