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Workshops & Lectures

Workshops & Lectures

The Family and Youth Institute has designed a vibrant and meaningful range of workshops, lectures, and presentations on topics within our four focus areas related to youth, marriage, parenting, and mental health! Our team of experts and community educators are professionals who are familiar with the many and varied North American Muslim communities and tailor their curriculum to your needs.

Each community is different and we aim to address those differences. In the scheduling process, The Family and Youth Institute discusses how best to approach the different topics and the particular ways in which we can make our research most meaningful to your community.

The presentations integrate research, clinical, and community-based experience, within a religious and cultural context. Workshops are hands-on and interactive. They are designed to provide participants with practical skills that are geared to improve the quality of interactions.

If you are interested in bringing in The Family and Youth Institute for professional development training at your school or place of work, please check out our Professional Training section. Read on to find out about the wide variety of presentations our dynamic speakers are able to bring to your community.

If you have any questions about scheduling a workshop, feel free to contact us!

Workshops & Lectures

Youth
Development

Whether you are a youth worker, teacher, mentor, or parent trying to empower a young person can sometimes feel impossible. Are there secrets to connecting? What can help you become a more impactful and inspiring mentor? The Family and Youth Institute is proud to offer a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and presentations that can help you take your work to the next level – transforming the lives of young people around you. Learn from the experts the skills needed to understand, effectively connect, and communicate, as well as inspire the next generation of change-makers.

Parenting in a Digital Age
(1.5 hr)

With smartphones taking over our time, tablets taking over the dinner table, and notifications taking over our lives, what can families do to connect in this digital age? In this Family and Youth Institute lecture, participants will learn about best tech-practices, good family habits, and how they can implement them in their own lives with their own children.

Workshops & Lectures

Why does communicating with a teenager feel so different? How can you reach them through the screens and their busy schedules? This interactive workshop presents information on child development through the adolescent years, highlights diverse methods of helping teens through loving relationships, and covers effective communication tips and pointers in order to help strengthen connection through these potentially tough but essential teen years.

Workshops & Lectures

Have you struggled with the thought of how to talk to your child about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty? Do you not know where to start when it comes to explaining sex? This workshop is intended to help parents and youth best navigate through the period of puberty. Attendees will gain an understanding and recognize the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty. We will discuss how to best navigate this period to allow for positive growth and development of the young person and the family through interactive activities and comfortable discussion.

Parent Workshop: Parents will be provided with an overview of the workshop presented to both boys and girls, ideas on how to expand the conversation at home, and offered useful resources for further understanding. Parents will be given the opportunity to role-play anticipated questions/conversations with their children and will brainstorm ideas to initiate a “rite of passage” connection activity to do at home with their child.

Youth Workshop: The boy’s and girl’s sessions will be held separately at the same time, led by the same-gendered facilitator. Students will participate in an interactive discussion that will include: understanding and recognizing the physical and emotional changes that come with puberty, anatomy, and function of the reproductive system, personal hygiene (taharah included), positive body image, dress code, healthy relationships, and spirituality. References to the Sirah and Islamic fiqh/understanding are intertwined in each of these categories. During the workshop, participants will engage in hands-on activity/crafts to help them communicate their developmental changes with their parents.

Workshops & Lectures

What will your child experience and be exposed to now that they are in high school? Are you prepared to address issues that they run into or answer questions that they may have? This newly developed workshop is designed to help participants begin to address those concerns. The workshop is split into 2 parts; the first part for the parents of high school-aged students. The instructors will cover topics such as gender and identity expression, attraction, healthy relationship development and relational fulfilment, sexuality from a spiritual lens as well as sexual harassment/assault, red-flag issues, and much more. The second part of the workshop will be for the high schoolers themselves where they will cover the above-mentioned topics and be able to ask questions and go over topics that might not otherwise be covered by an Islamic framework or point-of-view. This workshop builds off of the middle-school version of the Coming of Age series.

Parent Workshop: Parents will be provided with an overview of the workshop that will be presented to both young men and young women the following day. They will go home with ideas on how to expand the conversation and will be given useful resources for further understanding. Parents will be given the opportunity to role-play anticipated questions/conversations with their children and have time to ask questions of the instructors.

Team Workshop: These sessions will be held separately at the same time, split by gender, and led by the same-gendered facilitator. Students will participate in an interactive discussion that will include: Gender identity and expression, sexual and relational attraction, healthy body image and self-esteem, healthy relationships and relational fulfillment, sexuality from a spiritual lens, sexual assault, red-flag issues, and harassment, among other topics as well. The participants will have the opportunity to engage in open discussion and a judgment-free environment to address concerns and alleviate worries.

Workshops & Lectures

This 2-part workshop covers basic counseling skills to aid participants in improving their ability to connect and advise the young people in their communities. Participants will learn engagement skills, they will experience nonverbal and verbal communication principles, and will receive hands-on practical training backed by research done on and with the American Muslim community. Participants will leave more confident to address the needs of the youth in their community.

Day 1 – Understanding Muslim Youth Development: (6 hr)
A fast-paced interactive workshop that gives an overview of youth development, explores risk and protective factors, and highlights effective youth empowerment strategies. The instructors guide participants through case-studies and bring to light the latest research on American Muslim youth to help fine-tune the approach of youth workers, teachers, and parents alike. This course will outline effective, research-based youth programming elements that will assist participants in making real connections and designing new youth programming that will inspire young people to continue investing in their Muslim community.

Day 2 – Introduction to Counselling Muslim Youth: (6 hr)
This second part of the workshop does a deep dive into the concepts learned in the first part and covers basic counseling skills to aid participants in improving their ability to connect and advise the young people in their communities. Participants will learn engagement skills, and will have time in break-out sessions to practice the nonverbal and verbal communication principles and will receive the hands-on practical training that will help them implement the principles learned in this workshop.

Workshops & Lectures

Marriage

Whether you are searching for a spouse or have been married for a number of years, no relationship is perfect. If you don’t have the skills to help you work through everyday problems, then creating, maintaining, and sustaining a successful relationship will be difficult. Learn the keys to healthy relationships from Family and Youth Institute professionals. The Family and Youth Institute workshops are a powerful resource, which will have lasting benefits for your relationship. As one participant said, “3 years after the marriage workshop, I went back and reviewed my notes.” Help your community “review their notes” and strengthen their relationships through one of The Family and Youth Institute workshops.

Building a Strong Marriage
(3 hr)

Marriage is hard work. There is no magic alternative to putting in the joint effort, communicating your needs, and committing to making it work through thick and thin. This lecture presents common issues that research shows negatively impact marriages. The key areas that will be discussed are communication, team building, and affection. This lecture will give a brief overview of specific methods and resources that American Muslims can use to strengthen their marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right? How do you know if they are the one? How do you avoid becoming another divorce statistic? This in-depth interactive workshop helps individuals thinking about marriage make informed decisions as they search for a life partner. Attendees will engage in self-awareness exercises that will enable them to recognize characteristics in potential partners that will complement their personalities, expectations, and future goals. Professionals will help participants navigate through the often confusing marriage process, highlight red flags of potential partners, and understand how to assess compatibility. Finally, participants will be introduced to the concepts and skills needed for future marital success.

Singles, recently engaged couples as well as individuals who have recently found a partner will benefit from the information and practical skills that are developed through this workshop. Additionally, youth mentors and imams may find the topics and methods discussed surrounding this topic beneficial to their work with the Muslim youth in their community.

Workshops & Lectures

This lecture is designed for parents of marriageable-aged youth. Participants will focus on how to raise children to be good partners with realistic expectations of marriage.  As a parent, how do you instill healthy self-development, responsibility, and positive behavioral traits that will help your child become a great partner in their future?  What patterns and (good or bad) habits in your own relationship might you be passing on to your child without even realizing it? This lecture also touches on healthy in-law relationships and approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework.  Participants will leave with a better understanding of what they can do as parents to better prepare their sons and daughters for a healthy marriage and perhaps a few tips on how to better their own marriage relationship.

Workshops & Lectures

Effective marital communication skills are the best predictor of marriage success.  Learn the building blocks for effective communication that can lead to a stronger more meaningful marriage. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop – participants will examine the role of expectations and beliefs in shaping our communication. Participants will identify their communication style, learn communication danger signs, explore more effective ways of communicating, and will be given opportunities to practice their newfound skills with their spouse.  This workshop approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework.

Additionally, this workshop is specifically designed to be interactive with break-out sessions and skills-development built into the workshop time. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their abilities, more self-aware regarding their own communication styles, and hopeful about how to make changes in their relationship with their spouse.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you feel after a big fight with your spouse? Sometimes marriage can feel like a disaster zone and you might fear the worst, but perhaps now is the time to take a step towards a solution. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop –  participants explore practical problem-solving skills, how to address hidden issues, and teach methods of filtering when dealing with intense situations. This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages. 

Workshops & Lectures

Is it hard to ask for the things you need most? Do you wish your spouse would just pick up on your hints or better yet, think of the things that would make you happy themselves? Communicating needs, whether obvious or intimate can be one of the hardest things to establish as a couple. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement program – participants explore how to strengthen their connection with their spouse through developing a couple identity, communicating emotional and intimacy needs, as well as investing into the marriage with competing demands (work, parenting, etc.). This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

Parenting

Parenting is difficult on its own but given the competing demands, multiple responsibilities, lack of support, and often increasingly challenging environment, sometimes it feels as if the pressure is too high! However, effective parenting skills can set your children up for success like no other intervention. Learn effective parenting techniques from Family and Youth Institute professionals and watch the magic unfold!

Building a Strong Marriage
(3 hr)

Marriage is hard work. There is no magic alternative to putting in the joint effort, communicating your needs, and committing to making it work through thick and thin. This lecture presents common issues that research shows negatively impact marriages. The key areas that will be discussed are communication, team building, and affection. This lecture will give a brief overview of specific methods and resources that American Muslims can use to strengthen their marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right? How do you know if they are the one? How do you avoid becoming another divorce statistic? This in-depth interactive workshop helps individuals thinking about marriage make informed decisions as they search for a life partner. Attendees will engage in self-awareness exercises that will enable them to recognize characteristics in potential partners that will complement their personalities, expectations, and future goals. Professionals will help participants navigate through the often confusing marriage process, highlight red flags of potential partners, and understand how to assess compatibility. Finally, participants will be introduced to the concepts and skills needed for future marital success.

Singles, recently engaged couples as well as individuals who have recently found a partner will benefit from the information and practical skills that are developed through this workshop. Additionally, youth mentors and imams may find the topics and methods discussed surrounding this topic beneficial to their work with the Muslim youth in their community.

Workshops & Lectures

This lecture is designed for parents of marriageable-aged youth. Participants will focus on how to raise children to be good partners with realistic expectations of marriage.  As a parent, how do you instill healthy self-development, responsibility, and positive behavioral traits that will help your child become a great partner in their future?  What patterns and (good or bad) habits in your own relationship might you be passing on to your child without even realizing it? This lecture also touches on healthy in-law relationships and approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework.  Participants will leave with a better understanding of what they can do as parents to better prepare their sons and daughters for a healthy marriage and perhaps a few tips on how to better their own marriage relationship.

Workshops & Lectures

Effective marital communication skills are the best predictor of marriage success.  Learn the building blocks for effective communication that can lead to a stronger more meaningful marriage. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop – participants will examine the role of expectations and beliefs in shaping our communication. Participants will identify their communication style, learn communication danger signs, explore more effective ways of communicating, and will be given opportunities to practice their newfound skills with their spouse.  This workshop approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework.

Additionally, this workshop is specifically designed to be interactive with break-out sessions and skills-development built into the workshop time. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their abilities, more self-aware regarding their own communication styles, and hopeful about how to make changes in their relationship with their spouse.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you feel after a big fight with your spouse? Sometimes marriage can feel like a disaster zone and you might fear the worst, but perhaps now is the time to take a step towards a solution. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop –  participants explore practical problem-solving skills, how to address hidden issues, and teach methods of filtering when dealing with intense situations. This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages. 

Workshops & Lectures

Is it hard to ask for the things you need most? Do you wish your spouse would just pick up on your hints or better yet, think of the things that would make you happy themselves? Communicating needs, whether obvious or intimate can be one of the hardest things to establish as a couple. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) – an evidence-based marriage enhancement program – participants explore how to strengthen their connection with their spouse through developing a couple identity, communicating emotional and intimacy needs, as well as investing into the marriage with competing demands (work, parenting, etc.). This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

Mental Health

In addition to the following lectures, The Family and Youth Institute Team is also in the process of developing lectures, seminars, and workshops that address the issues of mental health and well-being, mental health awareness, and mental health stigma. Stay tuned for upcoming programming!

Building a Strong Marriage
(3 hr)

Marriage is hard work. There is no magic alternative to putting in the joint effort, communicating your needs, and committing to making it work through thick and thin. This lecture presents common issues that research shows negatively impact marriages. The key areas that will be discussed are communication, team building, and affection. This lecture will give a brief overview of specific methods and resources that American Muslims can use to strengthen their marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right? How do you know if they are the one? How do you avoid becoming another divorce statistic? This in-depth interactive workshop helps individuals thinking about marriage make informed decisions as they search for a life partner. Attendees will engage in self-awareness exercises that will enable them to recognize characteristics in potential partners that will complement their personalities, expectations, and future goals. Professionals will help participants navigate through the often confusing marriage process, highlight red flags of potential partners, and understand how to assess compatibility. Finally, participants will be introduced to the concepts and skills needed for future marital success.

Singles, recently engaged couples as well as individuals who have recently found a partner will benefit from the information and practical skills that are developed through this workshop. Additionally, youth mentors and imams may find the topics and methods discussed surrounding this topic beneficial to their work with the Muslim youth in their community.

Workshops & Lectures

This lecture is designed for parents of marriageable-aged youth. Participants will focus on how to raise children to be good partners with realistic expectations of marriage. As a parent, how do you instill healthy self-development, responsibility, and positive behavioral traits that will help your child become a great partner in their future? What patterns and (good or bad) habits in your own relationship might you be passing on to your child without even realizing it? This lecture also touches on healthy in-law relationships and approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework. Participants will leave with a better understanding of what they can do as parents to better prepare their sons and daughters for a healthy marriage and perhaps a few tips on how to better their own marriage relationship.

Workshops & Lectures

Effective marital communication skills are the best predictor of marriage success. Learn the building blocks for effective communication that can lead to a stronger more meaningful marriage. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop, participants will examine the role of expectations and beliefs in shaping our communication. Participants will identify their communication style, learn communication danger signs, explore more effective ways of communicating, and will be given opportunities to practice their newfound skills with their spouse. This workshop approaches the topic with research-backed information from an Islamic framework.

Additionally, this workshop is specifically designed to be interactive with break-out sessions and skills-development built into the workshop time. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their abilities, more self-aware regarding their own communication styles, and hopeful about how to make changes in their relationship with their spouse.

Workshops & Lectures

How do you feel after a big fight with your spouse? Sometimes marriage can feel like a disaster zone and you might fear the worst, but perhaps now is the time to take a step towards a solution. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), an evidence-based marriage enhancement workshop, participants explore practical problem-solving skills, how to address hidden issues, and teach methods of filtering when dealing with intense situations. This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages. 

Workshops & Lectures

Is it hard to ask for the things you need most? Do you wish your spouse would just pick up on your hints or better yet, think of the things that would make you happy themselves? Communicating needs, whether obvious or intimate can be one of the hardest things to establish as a couple. Based on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), an evidence-based marriage enhancement program, participants explore how to strengthen their connection with their spouse through developing a couple identity, communicating emotional and intimacy needs, as well as investing into the marriage with competing demands (work, parenting, etc.). This workshop is most effective after completing the workshop entitled: Communication Skills for Happy Marriages.

Workshops & Lectures

The Prophet (SAS) said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”
(Bukhari).

Guarantee your blessings!

Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).