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Workshops & Lectures

Workshops & Lectures

Embark on a transformative journey with The Family and Youth Institute’s engaging workshops and lectures! Whether you are looking for the latest guidance and recommendations on youth, marriage, parenting, and mental health, we have something for you!

Developed by our seasoned team of experts and community educators, each offering is rooted in the innovative and up-to-date research, relevant clinical insights, and a deep understanding of our diverse Muslim experiences. We don’t just offer knowledge; we craft experiences that resonate and transform our participants. With our workshops series building upon one another, you’re set to receive a dynamic and thorough skills-based training that’s meticulously tailored to empower you and address your unique needs. Dive in, and let’s strive for meaningful understanding and change!

Explore our full menu of workshops, lectures, and interactive experiences below! Discover which offerings fit the needs of your community – and let us know when you do!

Workshops

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!

In this interactive parenting workshop, participants will learn about the latest research on bullying to get a more complete picture of the bullying experiences of Muslim youth. Topics covered will include a look at bullying experiences from many angles, microaggressions (subtle bullying), and negative impacts of bullying on youth’s mental health and school outcomes. This workshop will give parents suggestions on how to build resilience and raise educator’s awareness of these incidents. Additionally, the participants will learn about what they can do to ensure their own children are not the perpetrators of bullying themselves. This workshop will provide a research-based foundation for recommendations and strategies that can be used to create a positive schooling atmosphere for students and their parents.

Workshops

As parents, when our kids act out, don’t listen, or do whatever they want, the natural response is for us to get upset. We start wondering what’s wrong with them. How can we fix them? Often times, many of us forget to consider how we may be contributing to the behaviors of our children, and what we might do to redirect these problem behaviors.  This workshop helps parents reflect and identify how their actions may contribute to their child’s behavior and what they can do to change.

Workshops

Do you get frustrated when your children don’t listen to you? Do your “conversations” always become long-winded lectures? Parenting isn’t easy but learning how to communicate effectively with your children will make parenting easier, enriching, and maybe even enjoyable. This workshop highlights the need to adjust communication based on development, identify the communication styles of parents and their children, and learn effective communication techniques through practice. This workshop encourages parent-child participation for children 10+.

Workshops

Through the never-ending sea of parenting advice that new parents are bombarded with almost as soon as they bring their bundle of joy home from the hospital, there is one set of guiding principles on parenting that has stood the test of time.  The Quran and Sunnah are rich with models and principles that we can all use to help us navigate the ups and downs of parenthood.  This in-depth, and interactive parenting workshop covers the essential principles of parenting from the Quran and Sunnah and is replete with comprehensive information and practical examples.

Workshops

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.

The Family and Youth Institute is in the midst of developing a similar workshop for high school-aged students and their parents!

Workshops

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 fulfillment, 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.
Teen 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

Have you ever given your child advice which they ignored until someone else gave them the exact same advice? It can be infuriating, but the reality is that sometimes we need additional parenting partners to help raise our children. Given all the challenges facing American Muslim youth, how can you build a supportive “village” to promote youth development? This workshop highlights how parents, teachers, and community members can collaborate and work to more effectively promote youth development. Truly, it does take a village, and being intentional about building a strong community is key.

Workshops

A family that grows together, stays together. But with different personalities, ages, and issues, how does a family grow individually and collectively, simultaneously? This workshop will help parents identify family goals and priorities, discuss competing demands, and provide ideas on how to move their family forward in a systematic direction that enables each individual in the family to reach their potential while simultaneously enhancing family connection, growth, and create a positive environment for raising children.

Workshops

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

Youth

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.

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

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

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

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

How do we shift from viewing young people as a problem to a community asset that ought to be invested in and empowered? This workshop will highlight the Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach and will focus on how communities can build programs and activities that meet youth capabilities, strengths, and formative needs. The workshop will discuss ways to engage young people as partners in their own development through shared decision-making within caring relationships. Finally, participants examine their own programs and discuss changes to program design and delivery that better reflect a PYD philosophy. 

Workshops

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

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!

Anxiety is often referred to as the common cold of mental health. Many individuals within the Muslim community suffer from anxiety. This lecture presents the signs, symptoms, and types of anxiety that individuals experience. In addition, nuances of symptoms manifestations will be presented. A mind-body-soul intervention will be presented to help reduce and support individuals suffering from anxiety.

Workshops

This 4-hour in-depth interactive workshop is on the importance of Mental Health awareness and support. Members of our communities are silently suffering from mental illness. These individuals often do not seek help due to stigma, lack of knowledge, and/or resources related to mental health resulting in a negative impact on their lives and families. The FYI’s Mental Health workshop will provide research and clinically based information to increase participants’ awareness of mental health, by (1) highlighting Muslim’s rich historical legacy in mental health, (2) presenting accessible and accurate mental health education on anxiety, depression, and suicide, and (3) intervention and prevention strategies at the individual, family, school and community levels.

Workshops

Anger can have a profound negative impact on our work, connections with friends, and family relationships.  This lecture presents the concept of anger,  explores the psycho-spiritual and physiological impact on individuals, as well as highlights factors that contribute to anger.  Finally, strategies and resources to manage one’s anger will be provided.

Workshops

Research has found elevated reports of depression within the Muslim community. This lecture presents the signs, symptoms, and explores the many types of depression that individuals can exhibit. Participants will also gather information regarding gender and age differences in symptom manifestations. Mind-body-soul interventions will be presented to help reduce and support individuals suffering from depression.

Workshops

Anxiety is often referred to as the common cold of mental health. Many individuals within the Muslim community suffer from anxiety. This lecture presents the signs, symptoms, and types of anxiety that individuals experience. In addition, nuances of symptoms manifestations will be presented. A mind-body-soul intervention will be presented to help reduce and support individuals suffering from anxiety.

Workshops

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Training

The Family and Youth Institute offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities. Whether you are in need of a cultural competency training for your team of health professionals and educators or a mentorship workshop to prepare your summer staff, we have what you are looking for!

Benefit from The Family and Youth Institute’s rich array of expertise by scheduling one of our trainings. Our trainers are hand-picked experts in their fields and our curriculum is research-based and customizable to meet the particular needs of your institution.

This seminar highlights the importance of clinicians considering their patients’ socio-cultural beliefs and values during the interview, diagnosis, and treatment process.  Muslim beliefs and practices that influence the therapeutic process and implications for effective service delivery will be provided. In addition, the intersectionality of identities, the role of mental health explanatory models, as well as religious values and beliefs will be presented in order to aid mental health and health professionals working with Muslim clients.

Workshops
Effective treatment is often based on the clinician’s ability to establish trust with the patients and conduct a thorough mental health interview, which in turn guides treatment interventions. This seminar will guide professionals to effectively assess a Muslim patient’s social and cultural identities, religiosity, acculturative stress, and psycho-social environmental factors that may impact the presenting problems. In addition, professionals will learn techniques to identify the client’s explanatory model of illness and explore culturally stigmatized topics with their patients. This interactive and fast-paced workshop will help staff conduct more effective client mental health interviews.
Workshops

This workshop introduces mental health professionals to the knowledge needed to develop religious and cultural competency when serving Muslim clients within a clinical setting. Information about the Islam and heterogeneity of the Muslim community as well as how it may impact the therapeutic context will be covered in this session. Cultural and religious beliefs about mental illness, information related to Muslim contributions to the field of psychology will also be presented, in order to assist clinicians in providing more culturally and religiously competent care. Considerations for intake assessment, diagnosis, and psychotherapy interventions will be offered and clinicians will be guided to factors that will predict more effective intervention and building of therapeutic alliance with their Muslim clients.

Workshops

While adolescent development is complex with numerous psycho-social changes taking place, Muslim youth often encounter additional challenges that their peers are not exposed to. Clinicians will be introduced to the often complex, intersecting world Muslim youth navigate through. Mental health professionals will be guided to address stigmatized topics, how to contextualize this information within the adolescent’s religious and cultural context, and how to work effectively with both adolescents and caregivers.

Workshops

As student populations become increasingly diverse, school staff must adapt their delivery of services in a manner that takes into account the dynamics of cross-cultural interactions within schools. This workshop will help staff members develop a sense of their own cultural identities, assumptions, and beliefs, as well as help facilitate a conversation on how it may impact their interactions with students and their parents.

In addition, school staff will explore the influence of socio-cultural factors that impact school culture, and how best to develop and maintain successful partnership with students and families. The seminar will use realistic scenarios, role-playing, and group discussions in order to help staff members internalize the information provided in the seminar.

Workshops

With increased Islamophobia in society, Muslim students are reporting greater experiences of micro-aggression and bullying within schools. This workshop explores micro-aggression, bullying, and cyberbullying. In addition, it highlights the times and locations where bullying is most likely to occur, and how staff can more effectively address these issues in their schools for students. Finally, recommendations for inclusive classroom teaching, school culture, and parent-teacher relationships will also be presented.

Workshops

While adolescent development is complex with numerous psycho-social changes taking place, Muslim youth often encounter additional challenges that their peers are not exposed to. School staff will be introduced to the often complex, intersecting world Muslim youth navigate through, nuances of the risks they encounter, and how best to support their development. Staff members’ increase in cultural knowledge and awareness will be used to strengthen students’ pride in themselves and their cultural identities, enhance cross-cultural interactions, and prepare students academically and socially in order to more effectively engage in our increasingly pluralistic society.

Workshops

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 their delivery within the school context. This course will outline effective, research-based youth empowering interventions that will assist staff in developing partnerships with their students and their parents.

Workshops

As effective school staff members know, the student-teacher relationship can have long term positive impact in the student’s lives. This workshop will present mentoring skills to teachers, administrators, and staff members in order to strengthen teacher-staff relationship. Participants will learn the science behind mentoring and effective engagement skills to use in school. Nonverbal, verbal, and cross-cultural communication principles will be presented and participants and will engage in role-playing in order to internalize the information presented.

Workshops

While adolescent development is complex with numerous psycho-social changes taking place, Muslim youth often encounter additional challenges that their peers are not exposed to. School staff will be introduced to the often complex, intersecting world Muslim youth navigate through, nuances of the risks they encounter, and how best to support their development. Staff members’ increase in cultural knowledge and awareness will be used to strengthen students’ pride in themselves and their cultural identities, enhance cross-cultural interactions, and prepare students academically and socially in order to more effectively engage in our increasingly pluralistic society.

Workshops

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 their delivery within the school context. This course will outline effective, research-based youth empowering interventions that will assist staff in developing a partnership with their students and their parents.

Workshops

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).