Community-Based Workshops

I am especially proud of my ability to develop curricula and deliver workshops on housing advocacy, community organizing, and Kingian nonviolence as a Level 1 certified trainer to all types of audiences. These include:

  • Fair Housing Advocate Training, recognized as a "promising practice" by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funded this training with a Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant. The goal of the training, which I developed in 2002 and conducted on an ongoing basis under the auspices of Open Communities, was to simultaneously provide free education on fair housing rights and responsibilities and a basis for concrete action.

Ten to fifteen people could sign up from a particular suburb -- interested residents, elected officials, municipal staff, religious leaders or young people -- and undertake the 3-part training: Fair Housing Rights & Responsibilities, Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Community, and Promoting Affordable Housing. Taken over the course of three evenings in three consecutive weeks, the final session left room at the end for participants to decide to implement a solution of interest to them. For example, the Park Ridge group decided to resurrect its dormant Fair Housing Committee, which subsequently expanded the housing rights of families with vouchers. The Morton Grove group developed a new fair housing brochure and later provided education and outreach to families threatened with foreclosure. And the Glenview group decided to prevent the displacement of over 200 families from its own Sunset Village Manufactured Housing community and the multi-year effort ultimately succeeded.

  • ILEAD: Immigrant Leadership School. I developed this in conjunction with the Voorhees Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. This four-part training is designed to recruit immigrants interested in getting more involved in the community, such as school committees, non-profit organizations, or local boards and commissions. More information can be found on Open Communities' Immigrant Integration Initiative page.
  • Faithful Action for Fair and Affordable Housing. I developed this 5-part curriculum with an interfaith group of religious leaders. It is intended to promote advocacy for housing and social justice by lay leaders. I would be happy to work with you to conduct this training! You can find it on Open Communities' web site under Resources, half-way down the page.
  • Kingian Nonviolence Training. In June 2016, following a rigorous program at the University of Rhode Island's International Nonviolence Institute, I gained Level 1 qualification as a co-trainer in presenting a Kingian Nonviolence 2-Day Core Introductory Workshop. I am prepared to train groups in the successful nonviolent methods pursued by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights activists in dismantling racial segregation in the 1960s, conflict resolution, strategies and tactics, and ultimately reconciliation. These strategies have been used successfully in public schools where violence has been an issue, and in any community's pursuit of justice and equity and inclusion.