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PODER Leadership Institute

The PODER Leadership institute developed out of a demand expressed by the NeighborCircles.  Neighbors were excited to get to know each other and talk about the quality of life in the neighborhood, but they also wanted the opportunity to go deeper.  PODER has been designed to develop their leadership skills while gaining a more holistic understanding of the city of Lawrence and the power structures and dynamics that govern it.  It is from this desire that the PODER Leadership Institute was born. 
PODER is an unforgettable leadership building experience.  PODER provides platforms and opportunities for emerging leaders to become more effective in our unified efforts to revitalize the City of Lawrence.  Throughout the course, members develop skills as facilitative, participatory and transformational leaders by:
• Building the network of skilled leaders in Lawrence
• Deepening their analysis of economics and power
• Understanding leadership in a network environment
• Unleashing the Power of Stories
• Reflecting on their own leadership experiences, strengths and challenges
• Challenging themselves to take on greater leadership challenges
• Applying tools, strategies and tactics for making collective change

Classes include:
• What is Power? - Ability to understand relations of power and how power is fundamental to understanding how to access and utilize that power for benefit of the community. Understanding power is critical to our ability to shift the balance of power – yet it is often a skill that isn’t taught or shared.
• Lawrence “Then” and “Now” - Understand the rich history of Lawrence and how through the Bread and Roses strike Lawrence immigrant workers united to change labor laws across the United States.
• LEAD Lawrence - Discover your authentic leadership style and comprehend how leadership fits in a network centric environment. Identify with central historical figures. We will also look at leadership from a historical and global context.
• Lawrence Resurgence City - Discuss key ingredients Lawrence must consider to develop into a regional economic epicenter of the Greater Lawrence Merrimack Valley area.  We will also identify key players and resources in the local economy what role we play in weaving players together.
• CHANGE Lawrence - Meet local city councilors to better understand how government and public policy work both at the local and state level. City councilors will also discuss ways to change local policy in favor of the demands of local residents.
• Health and Environment - Discuss the effects of history, industry, place, poverty, health and environment to residents of urban areas.
• Tour Lawrence - Tour around Lawrence and see its constantly developing landscape. Learn a working understanding of methods used to develop community building public spaces. Also, brainstorm and generate ideas to create friendlier public spaces in Lawrence.
• History of Education - Discover the underground history of American education and how it relates to the current educational struggles the cities now grapples with. Learn about your personal own educational journey and hear the Breadloaf Teachers Network method for empowering the community.
• History of Immigration - Seek to better understand the push and pull factors that have attracted immigrants to the U.S. the challenges to their assimilation to a new country and how immigrants are a largely under-developed and utilize capital of society.
• Social Movements - Learn about theory and practice of social movements and look at case studies on the civil rights movement to help us better understand how Latino communities can effectively organize for social change, today.
• Mobilize Lawrence - Working directly in an organizing campaign to fight for change in a community is a powerful tool for political education, leadership development and community change. Develop a campaign to fight social injustice through the organization’s mission/work.

Each PODER class meets for a 14 week period as a cohort. 

For more information about upcoming classes and how to apply contact:
Victor Martinez
Community Organizer
Our House Campus
168 Newbury St.
Lawrence, MA 01841
Direct Line: (978)722-2615
Or vmartinez@lawrencecommunityworks.org

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