Get Involved: Coach
The Institute for Community Leadership is looking for coaches for our Leadership Poetry Workshop.
Combining aspects of facilitation, teaching and mentoring, Institute for Community Leadership coaches lead groups of multiracial youth in the discovery of their personal, political and cultural power in schools and communities.
Download the Application Form:
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We have consciously chosen the word "coach" in order to more accurately describe the leadership theory governing our work. The job of coaching a Leadership Poetry Workshop is hard and unlike any other experience you will have. To accept the task of coaching young people to be the men and women they are meant to be in today's consumerist, violent and often times overtly dismissive society is a job which places individuals squarely on the side of justice and on a path towards realizing their own sense of struggle and purpose. Similar to the coach of an athletic team, the coach of the LPW is in charge of calling the plays, choosing the skills necessary to practice, ensuring cohesiveness and leading the team out onto the field to play.
As a Leadership Poetry Workshop Coach, you will be trained in the eight step leadership poetry workshops of the Institute for Community Leadership. These workshops, based on the Kingian and Ghandian principles of nonviolence, use the poetry and words of inspirational community based poets and activists. Young people who participate in these workshops are asked to read, write, and read what they write. In the process, young people and coaches are asked to engage the world around them, to discern their personal, cultural or familial heritage and to practice ways of expressing their ideas in the world outside of their school.
The eight steps of the leadership poetry workshop are specifically designed to build community while teaching the important skills of public speaking, literacy, and the traits necessary to work with others for a common purpose and a better world. These workshops galvanize diverse populations, across class lines, in languages other than English, and with multi-generational groups of youth and adults.
These workshops are not for everyone. The Leadership Poetry Workshops are not designed as a leadership class and to be coach one needn't be a youth worker, experienced trainer, or social service provider. The workshops build the skills of young people. Moreover, they build skills in coaches that can transfer to many other fields and will help them to be more reflective workers in other professional endeavors. However, it is important to note that these workshops are, first and foremost, designed to educate, engage, arouse and organize youth and adults in civil rights work, human rights work, and other progressive causes.
In his speech denouncing the Vietnam war, Dr. King discussed what he called the "deeper malady" effecting American society . This "deeper malady", as Dr. King saw it, was leading to violence at home and abroad. Recognizing the deeper malady encourages all those engaged in the world to see their work as addressing not only the circumstances apparent to the senses, but also to recognize the deeper work that must be accomplished in order that our society truly live in community with and for each other. As a governing principle of the Leadership Poetry Workshop, the ideas of D. King lead us to view the work of coaching the Leadership Poetry Workshop as much more than skill building exercises, team building activities, youth work, or educational consulting. These workshops are about researching and understanding how to offer alternatives to the powerlessness felt by so many people in the modern, technologically driven, stratified world of the 21st century.
Each coach brings his or her own personal story to their coaching. Each workshop takes on a unique character based on youth participants, school setting and numerous other factors. The beauty of these workshops is oftentimes they defy description to one who has never seen them. We encourage you fill out the enclosed application if you are interested and to connect with The Institute for Community Leadership office in order to find a time to come and observe the Leadership Poetry Workshop.
The world in which we live needs dedicated and courageous people. We have committed our selves to finding ways to encourage young people and adults to commit themselves to the work of the world. Clearly, as an organization, we carry certain core beliefs about violence, about education, and about young people. We are striving for a world where true democratic principles put the worlds economies, politics and education in the hands of the people. We are seeking all those interested in contributing to their community, working for justice and committing themselves to the task of social change.