KARAMAH has successfully held the Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP) for the past 14 years and 2016 was no exception. This year 18 women from near and far gathered in Washington, DC where they learned from acclaimed Islamic scholars, leadership mavens, and a leading expert on conflict resolution from an Islamic perspective. With another successful Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP) completed, KARAMAH is confident that LLSP 2016 graduates will use their new skills and knowledge in leadership, conflict resolution, and Islamic Law to make profound changes in their careers, homes, and communities.
Ms. Manal Omar, Associate Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Center at the United States Institute of Peace, delivered the keynote address to kick off LLSP. She inspired the class of 2016 through sharing personal stories during her time in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) while working to mitigate conflict in various countries throughout region. She used that platform to provide insight and advice to LLSP 2016 about being a woman in a leadership position, and also some of the ways that she has seen other powerful women make important decisions and impact policy.
The LLSP Class of 2016 was a group of talented women from all walks of life. Of the 18 participants, there were women from Kenya, Kosovo, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. The group comprised of university students, lawyers, activists, researchers, and educators. The program featured different lecturers each day, which allowed LLSP 2016 to develop different leadership techniques, expand their knowledge about Islam, and cultivate a bond of sisterhood. KARAMAH continues to modify and improve its LLSP curriculum annually. Although the core curriculum remains unchanged, KARAMAH added unique lectures for the class of 2016. KARAMAH’s core curriculum includes lectures such as The Islamic Worldview, Approaching the Qur’an, The Islamic Marriage Contract, and Domestic Violence and the Dissolution of Marriage in Islam. KARAMAH’s leadership curriculum includes classes such as, Theory of Change, Community Organizing 101, and Powerful Speaking for Powerful Women.
In addition to these lectures and an intensive two day workshop on Conflict Resolution with Dr. Amr Abdalla, this year, KARAMAH hosted retired Lieutenant Michael J. Bizer who spoke about Leading teams through resilience and Negotiating Diplomacy in Difficult Times. Particularly, Lt. Bizer spoke about how leaders can influence the level of stress and improve operational performance by further developing individual and organizational resilience. KARAMAH also hosted Dean Okianer Dark of Howard University who spoke about women and leadership, and how to combat some of the challenges that women often face while in leadership positions.
On the final day of the program, Ms. Nisa Muhammad, LLSP 2013 Alumna, motivated the class with her story of bringing positive changes to Islamic Religious Life at Howard University. She also emphasized to the class that changes in the Islamic Community come from within the Ummah. The LLSP Class of 2016 showed they were ready to bring change to their communities before the program even ended. This became clear through the “Strong Voices, Strong Communities” event held on August 6th at Busboys and Poets. The audience was moved by the power of these women and the courage they exhibited by standing on stage in front of a full room sharing their personal stories. With strong voices, composure and poise, they captured the audience. They made it clear: “we shall not be silenced.”
We at KARAMAH are excited for the alumnae of the 2016 Law and Leadership Summer Program to join the KARAMAH sisterhood. We look forward to seeing their leadership skills flourish and bring about change in their communities. Each of these leaders took home with them hopes and dreams to affect change. With the skills and knowledge these leaders gained during these 3 weeks, they’re ready to continue the unstoppable cycle of change begun at LLSP. See LLSP 2016 pictures here.