We intend to transfer knowledge on how nonviolent movements can promote political change and achieve transparency and accountability. Civil society activists are often apathetic in regards to promoting political change when they live under authoritarian and corrupt regimes. We will show how thinking and planning strategically can in fact allow for the emergence of peaceful pro-democracy movements that can effectively achieve change.As the Arab uprisings have showed, long-term stability cannot be achieved when populations feel alienated from the political process. Good governance, transparency, accountability and institutionalized mechanisms to voice grievances are crucial to prevent upheavals and political conflict. As a result, promoting and supporting a vibrant and independent civil society must become a primary objective to those seeking to bolster democracy, economic growth and stability in the Middle East.Empowering Civil Society in Iraq & Iraqi Kurdistan (ECIIK):
In a series of workshops with civil society activists, human rights defenders, journalists and community leaders, WYLN, in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Center for Transatlantic Relations SAISMediterranean Basin’s program, and Build A Movement, will work to transfer crucial skills to the participants, including: how to strategically plan campaigns; how to effectively communicate grievances to opponents and potential allies; how to mobilize and sustain broad citizen participation; how to build unity among various groups and organizations; how to ensure nonviolent discipline within the movement; how to operate safely in the face of repression; and how to effectively achieve change.