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We are redefining leadership in the region to be understood as a collective leadership practice in which people enable others to take leadership to achieve their shared purpose. We provide courses and workshops on public narrative and community organizing.

We are redefining leadership in the region to be understood as a collective leadership practice in which people enable others to take leadership to achieve their shared purpose. We provide courses and workshops on public narrative and community organizing that provide leaders skills to build their leadership capacity and others through five community organizing practices: public narrative, relationship building, team structure, strategy and action.

This is the place for leaders of civic associations, advocacy groups, and social movements to learn how to organize communities that can mobilize their power to make change. In a political landscape of the ‘single charismatic leader’ we are breaking the mold by introducing a new type of leadership, one that is based on interdependent distributed leadership that is rooted in shared values.

Our definition of leadership is “taking responsibility to enable others to achieved shared purpose under conditions of uncertainty.” Our aim is to build the capacity of leaders to engage their community, develop their leadership, harness their power to achieve the change they want to see in their world. Our teaching is based on the work of Professor Marshall Ganz who has created this methodology based on his lived experience organizing in the US. Adapted to our extensive work in the Arab world, our programs explore how leadership is exercised through mastery of five practices, including Public Narrative, Building Relationships, Structuring Leadership Teams, Strategizing, and Action.

Our department does this in several ways:

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Public Narrative Workshop

Stories enable us to connect to one another through our shared experience. Our public narrative workshop can help develop your capacity to lead as you learn to harness your story (story of self: what calls you to leadership), your community’s story (story of us: what calls us to leadership) and how to motivate them to action as you call them to join you in your cause (story of now: why they need to act now). Participants who attend our 1-1.5 day workshop will learn to craft their public narrative and leave with a first draft of their story of self, us and now linked together. This workshop can take place online and on-ground for people who want to strengthen their capacity to lead.

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Community Organizing Workshop

Whether you’re from a civic association, advocacy group, or social movement, our 2-5 day workshop on community organizing aims to provide a quick dive into community organizing and get an introduction of the five organizing practices as an approach to pursue change. This workshop is designed to be experiential, therefore participants will be workshopping a campaign simulation. Participants will leave this workshop with a new understanding of leadership, five organizing skills that will help them organize their community to take action and a new way to think about how to create by looking at power and resources. This course may be designed according to your context.

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Organizing and Leading Collective Action for Change Course

Our 18 week course explores how leadership is exercised through five organizing practices: public narrative, building relationships, structuring leadership teams, strategizing and action. This course key concepts and pedagogy is based on Professor Marshall Ganz’s Harvard Executive Education course titled Leadership Organizing and Action: Leading Change, but has been adapted to the Arabic language and the regional context. It is an experiential course in which participants have projects or campaigns they are implementing. They attend live lectures and section meetings, practice specific skills by doing pair work and submit homework assignments. They will also receive individualized coaching and feedback on their work, as they apply what they learn in their own campaigns and reflect on their leadership experience. Since the course’s inception in 2019, we have had over 180 alumni from the Arab world, covering Morocco to Yemen. We provide scholarships to participants to ensure there is no barrier to entry by having organizations sponsor individuals to participate in the course.

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Feminism, Leadership and Community Organizing Course

Ahel aims to enable and strengthen women leadership in the region. In 2019, Ahel started delivering an 8-11 week in person course on Feminism, Leadership and Organizing in Jordan. Participants learn about Arab and international feminist theory and history. They learn how to organize their community to take action from a feminist perspective. Every year 20-25 women leaders in Jordan will design a community organizing campaign, apply what they learned after lectures, practice skills in small group work and write reflections. Furthermore, throughout they will receive individualized coaching. We provide scholarships to participants to ensure there is no barrier to entry by having organizations sponsor individuals to participate in the course.

Our community organizing and public narrative workshops can be customized to your community’s needs. We are excited to engage with you in conversations on how these workshops may be applicable to your needs, so please contact Reem Keewan our project coordinator to start a conversation at reem.keewan@ahel.org