Urban Nexus recently delivered the Group Leadership Skills programme to a group of Mosques around the country.
The programme can be tailored to any private, voluntary, community or public organisation.
Brief synopsis of the Mosques Programme
British Muslims have a much poorer than average socio-economic profile. Many young Muslims often have competing and conflicting demands from school, Mosque, home and neighbourhood. Though some deal well with these conflicting and complex challenges, others often feel disadvantaged and become disaffected and dysfunctional and may become radicalised. Large numbers live in very deprived areas, have highest rates of unemployment, poor housing conditions, poor health and educational attainments and there is a disproportionate number in Muslim prison population. Young Muslims who used to be high achievers at Universities are now at the bottom ‘rung of the ladder’. As such many Imams and Community Leaders do not know how to deal with these multi-layered and conflicting issues, and thus the challenges facing them are great, with an urgent need to increase local capacities to tackle these critical problems.
The Group Leadership Skills Programme aimed to develop the type of leadership that will enable the Muslim community in Britain to develop strategies to reverse the downward spiral of its community. There are three key parts to the programme; however each part can be delivered as a stand-alone element:
1. Developing the right skills and the flow of information: For each local group, organisation, Mosque or Islamic group, Urban Nexus organises central group training where key representatives e.g. Imams, Chairpersons, Secretaries, Treasurers, community leaders, councillors etc gain necessary knowledge, confidence and skills to deal with community tensions, ideas and ideologies. The training equips individuals with theological and Leadership skills to understand and to counter extremist ideologies. The Leadership skills programme provides a wide range of skills through fourteen separate training Modules, e.g. Leadership Theory, Leadership Models and Practice, Challenges Facing British Muslims, Negotiating, Vision building, Strategy, Diversity and Prejudice, Understanding Self, Understanding Power, Political Intelligence, Extremism, Radicalisation and ICT, Governance and Meetings, Giving and Receiving Feedback, Project and Financial Management.
2. Equipping Organisations with improved capacity: For each Organisation, Mosque or Islamic group the project carries out a wide-ranging audit of their status, constitution or their governing instrument, policies and procedures, structures and other necessary documentation including staffing and their skill levels so that their needs and gaps could be identified. From this mapping the project establishes a list of the most essential priorities for each organisation that culminates in the development of strategic Action Plans. The project also links closely with key individuals in each organisation to develop a Balanced Scorecard for them and sign-post them to producing such documents and tools that will be necessary to further build their capacity.
3. Role Models: Urban Nexus works with local organisations to identify and provide role models who will mentor groups of young people to promote positive messages about being a British Muslim and support young people to raise their aspirations and enhance their sense of belonging in UK.