Still Harbor


Our collective quest for justice and peace cannot be accomplished by intellectual or professional training alone.

Still Harbor believes that spirituality cultivates the depth of imaginationcourage, and resilience we need to create a more kindequitable, and sustainable world.

Our programs and services seek to create a network of fiercely loving, compassionate, and transformative spiritual leaders for change.



We consider ourselves part of a burgeoning 21st-century movement that is drawing on the world's long history and multiple traditions of contemplative practice. Such practices form the foundation of what we all need to create spaces that encourage the personal and collective exploration of identity, belief, purpose, values, and connection.


Spirituality to us is defined as one's understanding and experience of their connection to self, relationship with other, and orientation to the world at large and the great mystery of life. We work across faith and non-faith settings promoting spiritual formation as an essential foundation for leading change. Read more about why we take a spiritual approach here.


Core Team

Rev. Perry Dougherty is a Still Harbor Senior Partner, Editor of Anchor magazine, an Instructor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and founder of Rootwise Leadership. Perry serves as a facilitator, chaplain, and spiritual director at Still Harbor. She has a background in corporate training and development as well as non-profit development, communications, and management. Perry brings an informed perspective on social justice, pedagogy, and learning, which she studied at Washington University in St. Louis in receiving her B.A. in Social Thought and Analysis with a specialization in the Sociology of Education. Perry is an ordained Interspiritual Minister by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. She brings her personal and professional interests together through her service by exploring where creative expression and narrative meet spirituality and social justice.


Monique Harris is a Still Harbor Senior Partner and also serves as a facilitator and chaplain /spiritual director. A transplant from San Francisco, California, Monique moved to Boston in 2005 with her then 13 year-old daughter in tow. A special education teacher by profession, Monique has worked in public education for more than 15 years and served as an Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 13 years. During her tenure at Charles Street A.M.E. Church, she was charged with organizing the prayer ministry. She has recently completed the Still Harbor Spiritual Direction Practicum and has been pursuing community-based work around promoting literacy and creating healing spaces for African Americans to deal with racial trauma. She loves reading, cooking, and reading about cooking! She is an undercover Anglophile, who has an addiction to English Gothic Literature and Masterpiece Theater.

Lauren Spahn is a Still Harbor Senior Partner. She serves as lead administrator, facilitator and chaplain with Still Harbor and is also yoga teacher, birth doula, and writer. She is an avid reader, lifelong learner, world traveler, language enthusiast, and a "my home is your home"-style hostess. She has a background in facilitation and project development as well as non-profit communications and management. Lauren received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Spanish with a minor in Women's Studies. In 2015, after eight years of full-time non-profit work, she began teaching yoga and supporting justice-based non-profits (Still Harbor included) as a facilitator and writer. She stays tethered to her call to bring people together through shared dialogue and practice, and in doing so, she has discovered the healing and transformative power of community. 

Facilitation & Chaplain Team


Rev. Edward M. Cardoza, MA.Min. is the co-founder of Still Harbor. Ed serves as a facilitator, chaplain, and spiritual director at Still Harbor. Ed received a Master’s in Arts in Ministry from Saint John’s Seminary School of Theology in 2003. He completed a practicum in spiritual direction at the Center for Religious Development through the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to serving with Still Harbor, Ed is also ordained in the Episcopal tradition and is priest-in-charge at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Ed serves on the board of directors for the global health non-profit Partners In Health, where he was the Vice President for Development for 6 years. He also serves on the board of Episcopal City Mission.


Suzanne Ehly serves as a chaplain/spiritual director for Still Harbor. In addition, she is a professional musician, an equity and justice consultant with VISIONS, Inc., an experienced educator, workshop and retreat leader, and former Artist-in-Residence and Faculty in Voice, Body, Culture and Leadership at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA and faculty at UMASS/Boston. As a white, Protestant, queer, US woman, she considers it both her keen delight and citizen responsibility to engage in the ongoing transformation of herself and of individuals and organizations with which she work. She brings curiosity, compassion, and patience to her expertise in understanding and transforming/healing the intersected and hybrid ways that racism and other oppressions live in the bodies and imaginations of people from both traditionally “included” and “excluded” groups. 


Daniel Gelbtuch is a chaplain/spiritual director with Still Harbor. He was born and raised in Greater Boston's Jewish Community, attending Solomon Schechter Day School, Temple Hillel Bnai Torah, and Camp Yavneh.  Dan attended Boston Latin School and Wesleyan University. He has a Master's Degree in Education from Queens College and taught in the New York City Public School System for three years, helping to found the School for Democracy and Leadership.  Dan returned to Boston in 2007 to begin the Jewish Organizing Initiative, which launched his career as a youth organizer at Dorchester Bay Youth Force. Dan served as the Youth Force director and co-founded the Youth Jobs Coalition.  Most recently, Dan been interested in how to connect his spiritual path and his organizing work as well as how to leverage key learnings from social movements into structure based organizing.


Akwése Nkemontoh serves as a chaplain and facilitator with Still Harbor. She is a cross-cultural bridge builder, leadership coach, and entrepreneurial spirit currently splitting her time between SE Asia and the US. She holds a double B.Sc. in Communication Studies and Black Studies with a focus on minority representation in media and an M.S.W. in Social Innovation and Leadership with an emphasis on Global Practice. She has worked both domestically and internationally with several NGOs in communications, outreach/engagement, and community development roles. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Akwése aims to increase cross-cultural dialogue, inspire change, and empower individuals in fully utilizing their unique voice and abilities.

Eliza Ramos serves as a chaplain and facilitator with Still Harbor. She is a social worker, global health professional, and social justice advocate. She is from Oregon and now resides in Oakland, California. She has worked on child development programs in orphanages in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, as a counselor and facilitator with the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and consulted with UNICEF in New York and India on youth well-being and health programs. Eliza was a 2012-2013 Global Health Corps (GHC) fellow in Rwanda and was a GHC staff member working on growing their alumni community. As a chaplain and facilitator, her passion lies in supporting leaders and organizations in creative positive social change. She holds an M.P.H. from Harvard University and an M.S.W. from Columbia University.

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Heidi Tessmer serves as a chaplain/spiritual director with Still Harbor. Heidi holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Northeastern University.  She has a background in process improvement and change management strategy.   It was through her own spiritual journey that led her to become a Spiritual Director. She completed the Spiritual Direction practicum at Still Harbor in 2016. She has many years of experience with the recovery community and believes it is true grace watching broken spirits being restored to wholeness. Heidi has always advocated for women's rights and is passionate about seeking positive social change and justice for women, men and children. Heidi enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and their black lab, Clover.  She loves exploring new coffee shops with friends.  She likes gardening, cooking, journaling and spending time outdoors in nature. 


Nadia Colburn holds a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University and currently teaches writing and spirituality workshops. Her writing has appeared widely in such places as The New Yorker, Yes! Magazine, Boston Review, and Boston Globe Magazine.  Nadia is also an OI Aspirant in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hann, a Kundalini yoga teacher, and a Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute. Learn more at

Elissa Melaragno has worked as a professional visual artist for thirty years. Her work, though held in many private collections, has been focused on public arts, especially in healthcare settings. Her training in several holistic healing modalities and as a spiritual director has informed her work as an art instructor to include creativity, the mandala, and inner exploration as a source of growth, healing, and vocational enrichment.

Board of Directors

Edward M. Cardoza
Frederick N. Dello Russo, Jr.
Melissa Gillooly
John C. Hart
Carolyn MacNeil
Talia Rivera
Joshua Summers

Still Harbor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. We are an independent organization and not affiliated with any single faith or secular tradition or institution. We are grateful to our donors, partners, board of directors, and people like you who make our work possible.


Join Us

Are you looking to experience working at an entrepreneurial non-profit? Are you interested in leading and participating in exciting programs, projects, and publications at the intersection of spirituality and social justice? Keep in touch here for future openings on our team. Please contact the office at with questions or for more information.


Our Partners

Since our founding in 2008, Still Harbor has provided leadership formation and accompaniment opportunities for hundreds of individuals and organizations through retreats, workshops, chaplaincy, and training programs. Some of our organizational partners and clients include:


"The Still Harbor team plays an essential role in the development of each fellow. I firmly believe that without the instruction and guidance of Still Harbor, it would be impossible for the individuals at GHC to perform at such a high level. They provide an invaluable support system, and have taught me essential life skills which I will treasure for the rest of my life."
 - Global Health Corps Fellow