The Young Muslim Fellowship
Seventeen Muslim youths are ready and raring to pay it forward, after embarking on a leadership journey which equipped each one with the right skills to change the world.
Over the past five months, the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) and Democracy in Colour have run the Young Muslim Fellowship – Australia’s first social change fellowship dedicated to strengthening the political voice of young Muslims.
Over three retreats, ten workshops, inspiring speakers, discussion groups and mentoring, this in-depth program has trained 17 young Muslims in all aspects of campaigning – everything from strategy, leadership and political engagement to digital, communications and fundraising.
The program aims to build a new generation of young Muslim changemakers with the advocacy and leadership skills to run effective campaigns to change hearts, minds, public policy and corporate behaviour.
Democracy in Colour’s National Director, Tim Lo Surdo, said, “Our political environment is becoming increasingly hostile to people of colour – we’re seeing calls for Muslim bans, increased fear mongering, and the rise of white supremacist groups.”
“And young Muslims are one of the most visible targets – treated like political punching bags, excluded from decisions made about their lives, and forced to justify their existence on a daily basis. That’s why we decided to start the Young Muslim Fellowship,” Mr Lo Surdo said.
ICV Executive Director Nail Aykan said youths are the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and deserved all the investment in the world.
“Our youths are passionate about positive change, dedicated to making the world a better place and we just want to help them achieve their dreams through equipping them with the right skills to turn their dreams into reality.”
The ICV and Democracy in Colour will hold a graduation ceremony for its first cohort of fellows this Sunday, April 29 from 2.30pm at the ICV Office, 372 Spencer St, Melbourne West. The Fellows will share their stories about why they got involved with the program, what they learnt, and what they’re doing next.
Following the program’s great success, the pilot project will run a second round of training later this year.
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