Emerging Leaders Institute
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities works with schools and community groups to develop customized workshops for middle and high school audiences through the Emerging Leaders Institute. Sessions are developed after the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ experienced human relations professionals meet with key stakeholders from the sponsoring institution. Programs can be tailored to a specific human relations topic or a broad issue like inclusion or leadership. Details such as the amount of time and program venue are also determined in consultation with all planners.
Specific offerings include:
- ADDRESSING BULLYING: MOVING FROM BYSTANDER TO UPSTANDER
This workshop would help students to explore and understand the influence that they have as leaders, both within and outside of their organizations. Participants will learn what it means to be a bystander, an upstander, and an ally, and the relationship that each of these roles has in creating a positive school climate. They will understand how an effective leader can respond in challenging situations while also building skills to empower others to be upstanders and allies.
- CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND PREVENTION
Responding to conflict effectively is a challenge to any leader. Participants in this workshop will evaluate their conflict resolution style along with the strengths and weaknesses of that style. From there, they will brainstorm more effective strategies to create meaningful relationships while also building skills to help them recognize and productively respond to things that trigger them.
- CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION
One of the greatest barriers to successful leadership is miscommunication. Participants in this workshop will have to creatively work together in order to overcome potential barriers to successful communication. They will then strategize ways to apply this learning to their day-to-day interactions with people who have different communication styles.
- EXAMINING AND REIMAGINING SCHOOL CULTURE
In this program, students would explore and understand the various dynamics that work together to make up a larger school culture. Students will reflect on their own experiences in their school, and to think about the strengths and challenges in creating a place where everyone has the chance to belong. They will learn ways to address the challenges, while looking at practical ways to motivate others to work towards a more inclusive school climate.
- FACILITATION SKILLS 101
Effective leaders must actively and consistently seek feedback from others. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create effective dialogue across lines of difference, and how to manage the conversation from start to finish. They will then brainstorm ways to incorporate these skills into everyday events, from club meetings to informal interactions in hallways, classrooms, and cafeterias.
- INVOLVING THE UNINVOLVED
Creating a positive school climate is not just a task for a few student leaders; it involves a communal effort across different groups, times, and places. In this workshop, participants will consider how to cultivate school climates that motivate students from all backgrounds to want to become more actively involved in school culture.
- TEAM BUILDING & INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP
Truly effective teams include and value all backgrounds and perspectives, while also acknowledging those perspectives that are missing from the group. This workshop offers opportunities for students to share their experiences while building meaningful relationships among their peers. They will use this knowledge to explore best practices for replicating this process when they return to their schools.