(See 4 Minute Powerpoint presentation to the left)
LEADD (Leadership Education Advancing Democracy and Diversity) is an innovative program for high school students developed by members of the Interfaith Alliance and a dedicated group of volunteers who have acted as founders, curriculum planners, teachers and workshop leaders since 2005. Students who attend LEADD become immersed in the history of the First Amendment, particularly its Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. The First Amendment is the foundation of America’s unique devotion to religious liberty and the hope in and vision for creating a truly pluralistic American society. Students learn about current policy, legislative and legal issues regarding religious freedom.
2010 Weekend LEADD in Warwick, NY
From May 21-23, 2010 we held the rescheduled NYC area LEADD at the Warwick Conference center (Warwick, NY). Eighteen students participated in the full program. As a part of our outreach and recruitment, our Coordinator, Denny Davidoff held numerous face to face meetings with representatives from: Interfaith Center of NY; Temple Israel-Manhattan; Hindu Temple Society of North America (Ganesh Temple-Queens); United Sikhs; Riverside Church(NY); Unitarian Church of Westport(CT) Queens Council of Churches; Brick Presbyterian Church; St Ignatius Loyola; Marble Collegian Church- Presbyterian; St Peter's Lutheran; the Bronx Science High School Parent's organization; St Barts Episcopalian (NY); the Office of Armenian Prelate of NY; Temple of Understanding- Interfaith; the Jain community and the Al-Khoei Islamic Center and School. The results were an extraordinarily diverse group of youngsters.
The program was, as are all the LEADD experiences, filled with curiosity, intelligence, energy and exuberance. From morning until night our LEADDers taught and were taught about themselves and each other, our great democracy and the Constitution. Below you will see the extraordinary schedule which can only, in a linear fashion, begin to describe the weekend.
Warwick, NY LEADD Schedule May 21-23, 2010
2:00 – 3:00 Counselors (Tyler Kirk, Yasmeen Zaid, Sarah Albahadily, Rahil Rojiani) meet at the Community Church of New York
3:00 – 4:30 Students arrive. Bring necessary medical/allergy medications with instructions.
4:30 – 5:00 Bus departs New York City. Box supper distributed 6 pm.
7:00 – 7:30 Bus arrives from New York City. Students greeted and shown their rooms.
8:00 (earlier?) Welcome, staff and student introductions.
What is this program about and how does it mesh with IA mission and work?
Introduction to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Brief discussion about pluralism as Professor Diana Eck of Harvard defines it.
8:30 Break into four pre-assigned groups for discussion about faith practices.
9:30 Rules of Behavior, Community Gifts
10:15Corridor Conversations” with counselors.
11:15 Lights out
Saturday, May 30
9:00 Morning Circle
9:30 – 10:45 Curriculum Block I “Religious Liberty Now” A Look at current issues
10:45 – 11:15 BREAK
11:15 – 12:30 Workshops
“Striving for Cultural Pluralism”
“Communication & Conflict”
1:30 – 3:00 Curriculum Block II “Religious Liberty Then” Students will break into six groups for 20 minutes of discussion and then report back. Group facilitators: Quakers , Baptists, Mormons, Ann Hutchinson, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams.
3:00 – 3:45 BREAK
3:45 – 4:45 Supreme Court overview.
4:45 – 6:00 Supreme Court- Moot Court preparation.
6:00 – 7:00 DINNER
7:00 – 7:45 Vote With Your Feet (Outside if weather permits.)
8:00 Video – “West Bank Story”
8:30 – 9:30 “Here’s the situation. Respond in a skit”
9:30 – 10:15 “Encountering Other Religions”
10:30 “Corridor Conversations” with counselors
11:15 Lights out
Sunday, May 31
9:00 – 9:20 Morning Circle
9:30 – 10:45 Repeat Saturday workshops. (Go to the one you didn’t do yesterday.)
10:45 – 11:15 BREAK
11:15 – 12:30 Moot Court Cases: Bruno v. Salazar, San Diego Cross Case
1:15 – 2:00 Messaging and Advocacy. How will LEADDers use what they have learned here?
2:00 – 2:45 Closing Circle.
2:45 Evaluation of the weekend.
3:00 Bus departs for New York City.2009 Weekend LEADD in Oklahoma City, OK
Weekend LEADD in 2009 was held in Oklahoma City, OK at Oklahoma City University May 29-31st. We had 23 students from 16 different faith traditions.We began on Friday, May 29 at 4 pm and packed information and fun into the high-school-age kids until Sunday, May 31st at 4 pm. Dr Bruce Prescott Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists gave a powerful presentation and held a Q & A on the history of religious liberty in Europe and how it led our founders to the first amendment protections. Other presentations from Denny Davidoff, Jay Keller, former Deputy Dir of Policy Preet Singh and local youth director Sharon Fleck focused on religion today in the US, conflict resolution, messaging and mobilizing workshops, media coverage of religion and discussion hate crimes after the showing of the film A Dream in Doubt.
2008 Weekend LEADD in Tampa FL:
Twenty-one high school students from the Tampa Bay area enrolled in the first Weekend LEADD (Leadership Education Advancing Democracy and Diversity) held August 29-31, 2008. LEADD is an educational program of the Washington-based Interfaith Alliance Foundation. Its focus is on religious liberty and the disestablishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The formal curriculum included history, immigration policy, current affairs, conflict resolution and advocacy. Equally important was the creation of safe space in which the students could freely discuss their diverse family backgrounds, faith practices, and nascent world views. Conversation was animated during meals and classroom breaks and late, late into the night. Many students reported that LEADD gave them the opportunity to participate in the dialogue of true pluralism – encountering and appreciating the other – for the first time in their lives.
YOU WILL ALSO DELVE INTO ISSUES OF THE DAY INCLUDING:
Donations to the Interfaith Alliance Foundation are fully tax-deductible.