Throughout 2016 we will be featuring several Leadership that Works' coaches who are on the leading edge of community coaching. In this first installment of the series, Jeremy Lahoud, Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center, shares how coaching has helped him support and advance youth organizers.
“What worlds become possible when young people experience Coaching for Transformation?” That’s the empowering question emerging for me as I enter the halfway point in my Coaching for Transformation (CFT) certification program in Los Angeles. Having spent the past two decades engaged with youth organizing for racial and social justice, I now have the good fortune to coach new, emerging, and more established youth organizers. These younger folks—ranging from just out of their teens into their early thirties—are especially primed for the pathways represented by the CFT approach. Hopeful lotuses that have grown out of the mud of racial inequity, gender oppression, community trauma, and state violence themselves, the young people I coach and the whole field of youth organizing hold fertile ground for the transformative CFT approach.
With my team at Movement Strategy Center, we provide support to youth organizers across the fourteen California Endowment-supported Building Healthy Communities sites and through the Sons and Brothers (Boys and Men of Color) initiative. We have been striving to practice a holistic, transformative approach to youth organizing, which has often been more singularly focused on building youth leadership for policy and systems change. With its focus on individual alignment and resourcefulness, empowering questions, and transformational agendas, I’ve found that transformative coaching is a welcomed practice to blend personal transformation with broader social change for youth organizers and the young people with whom they work. Through coaching, I’ve witnessed former youth leaders who now hold youth organizing positions become more aligned with their purpose, identify their own “leadership stands,” and step into their visions for self and collective liberation.
This moment in the field of youth organizing invites us to imagine the ripple effects that can happen when young people in the teens and twenties—in places like Long Beach, South Los Angeles, Fresno, and Stockton—have access to transformative coaching as they emerge into adulthood. Imagine how our communities will be transformed as these young people grow.
About the author:
Since 1994, Jeremy Lahoud has worked for grassroots organizations focused on youth organizing for racial and social justice. Prior to moving to California, he spent a decade organizing for racial and educational justice with African American, Latino, and Arab American youth at the Southwest Youth Collaborative in Chicago. In 2004, he joined the staff of Californians for Justice as Long Beach Lead Organizer and subsequently served as Organizing Co-Director and most recently as Executive Director from 2009 through 2012. Starting in January 2013, Jeremy is serving as a part-time Senior Associate with Movement Strategy Center, as well as providing independent consulting, focused on strategically supporting youth, community, and policy organizations to advance racial and social justice.