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Religions: Leadership And Empowerment For Advancing Democracy (RELIGIONS LEAD) Initiative

Building on the successes of and lessons learned from its prior NED-funded project, Imams as Advocates for Democratic Change and Pluralism, Salam Institute’s current project “Religions: Leadership and Empowerment for Advancing Democracy (RELIGIONS LEAD) Initiative aims to elevate the role and capacity as community leaders of two cohorts of 24 select Muslim and Christian clerics from Alexandria/Central Delta, and Upper Egypt regions of the country with the goals of modeling interfaith cooperation, promoting civic values, and advancing community initiatives in new and innovative ways. Through two interactive four-day training workshops covering themes of communication, facilitation, and problem solving, this project is providing technical assistance, and convenes a three-day national follow-up forum in support of these interfaith community initiatives so as to empower and improve the wellbeing of the local communities that the religious clerics serve. The Salam Institute allocates small grant funding up to $700.00 for six proposed initiatives.

This project does not merely aspire to assert the role of religious clerics in their parochial spheres and manners of influence, but more significantly to mobilize clerics to re-shape their communities through innovative words and actions that are based on enlightened notions of citizenship, pluralism, and democracy.