Moving toward economic and social justice

Strategies, tools, and methods for achieving them
Developing Just Leadership

Khalil Abdul-Rahman

Sha'ban 04, 1438 2017-05-01

News & Analysis

by Khalil Abdul-Rahman (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 3, Sha'ban, 1438)

Strategies, tools, and methods for success in a world dominated by warlords.

This issue of CI introduces a new column designed to share ongoing efforts to implement Qur’anic and prophetic guidance in our societies. Guest writers are invited to submit stories of what is being done to establish the practical application of Islam in our communities. Accepted articles may be edited to conform to CI’s publication standards. This is the first article in this series.

Bringing people together for the purpose of participating in making a decision (shura) for a particular course of action has long been known to be a valuable way for us to conduct our affairs. Yet we often fail to understand its relevance in determining the activities of our organizations, joint projects, and workgroups.

A case in point relates to helping students position themselves for employment opportunities. “This is a big challenge,” states Bryant Mitchell, Associate Professor of Business, Management, and Accounting at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). He explains, “Many students are finding that relying mainly on successfully completing traditional coursework combined with an internship is not very effective.”

Over the past ten years Dr. Mitchell noticed that employment outcomes for a particular group of students were better than those for many other students. Those who completed a specialized curriculum designed to enable UMES students to compete for high-tech jobs were far more likely to obtain the type of position they worked toward.

Looking for a way to get active participation from former students who successfully made the transition to employment to share what they have learned with current students, Dr. Mitchell set up an online shura using a tool called ShuraForAll. “Since our former students are located in so many different areas and are constrained by their availability, we needed a structured way to capture their thoughts and make recommendations… We also needed this structure to allow our current students to respond with questions and comments.” Managing the dialogue over time, compiling the results of recommended courses of action, and setting up objectives with action steps to be carried out were other required functions.

Though this effort is in its early stage, there is already evidence of its benefit for participants. To learn more about the use of ShuraForAll and/or the specific case above, Dr. Mitchell can be reached by email at bcmitchell@umes.edu.

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