ISB Atlanta

Georgia Muslim Leadership Institute for Civic Engagement (GMLI)



The Georgia Muslim Leadership Institute (GMLI) is an initiative of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta in collaboration with industry thought leaders and practitioners. GMLI trains and cultivates civic leaders who create positive and constructive changes within communities and add value in the public square.  

"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." Ralph Nader

GMLI Vision and Mission

Vision – GMLI is the premier leadership development program for cultivating competent and effective civic leaders from within the diverse Muslim and all communities throughout Georgia.

Mission – GMLI seeks to increase and elevate the civic engagement and leadership of Muslims and diverse communities within the public sector. This results in a more vibrant, inclusive, and interconnected civic environment.

Values – GMLI adheres to three core values which underline the leadership development experience. The values are Excellence, Integrity, and Service.

GMLI Values

EXCELLENCE – We embrace accountability for excellence in planning, effort, and outcomes.

INTEGRITY – We adhere to truthfulness, honesty and “walking the talk” of the leader.

SERVICE – We put the needs of those we serve above our own personal needs and desires.

Service to others is the rent you pay here for your room on earth.” -- Muhammad Ali


What Participants Get from the GMLI Experience

  • Improving their leadership skills from current baseline
  • Gaining a better understanding of community leadership and becoming more effective as a community leader
  • Enhancing leadership and planning skills for civic engagement
  • Joining a vibrant statewide network of civic and community leaders

What Organizations and Communities Get from GMLI graduates

  • Stronger, more effective leaders who improve team functioning and productivity
  • Networking connections and resources that can help advance the organization’s goals


“True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.” -- Sheri L. Dew

GMLI Platform –  The GMLI program stands upon four pillars which are the foundation of the nine-module experience: Cultivate, Connect, Inspire and Work.

Cultivate: GMLI aims to develop competent, knowledgeable, courageous, and action-oriented leaders who will apply their leadership skills to civic engagement initiatives and organizations throughout Georgia. GMLI participants gain a better understanding of themselves and their roles as community leaders while enhancing their leadership skills.

Connect:  GMLI provides an opportunity for community leaders to connect. Members will be able to meet with and hear from leaders in the business and non-profit sector, local and state officials, and other community leaders. Participants will gain a better understanding of how to effectively lead change in their respective spheres of influence. The GMLI Alumni Network will be a tremendous resource for networking, mentoring, and mobilizing people and resources towards aspirational goals.

Inspire: GMLI develops leaders who apply critical thinking and creativity to solve current issues.  GMLI participants apply their leadership training to create meaningful impact within their respective communities, occupations, and spheres of influence.    

Work: Practical Application. Group projects chosen by GMLI participants will afford them practical opportunities for them to do “real world application” of the content learned in the program. The projects will reinforce learning, generate teamwork, and benefit civic initiatives. 

GMLI is a nine-month program featuring a series of leadership modules developed by thought leaders and parctitioners. The time commitment for GMLI participants is one full Saturday per month for the duration of the program.

The GMLI curriculum includes nine core modules:

  • Understanding Leadership
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Making Group Decisions
  • Building Communities Through Collaboration
  • Valuing Community Diversity
  • Group Dynamics
  • Conducting Successful Meetings
  • Managing Conflict
  • Local Government

Additional Resources – Guest Speakers: Besides learning from the curriculum, the GMLI brings in relevant community leaders and guest speakers who currently live out the skills and values discussed in the training. Participants will hear from people in the field and how they manage the different issues brought up throughout the course of the program. This allows participants the opportunity to see the curriculum applied on a first-hand basis and to ask questions. This holistic approach allows participants to develop skills by using an effective curriculum, hearing from current leaders, and learning within the context of their particular goals and interests.

Applied Learning - Community Projects: As part of the Georgia Muslim Leadership Institute, participants will be required to carry out a group community project.  These projects will be developed together within small groups of fellow participants and should encompass some sort of ultimate benefit for the community (as defined by the group).  Participants will have the freedom to select their own scope of work, within certain guidelines, and implement the project from start to finish. Updates on group projects are presented at the GMLI sessions and feedback/support from staff is provided.  Each group will also be paired with a member of the ISB Leadership Council as their group advisor.  Towards the end of the course, the various groups present their projects to the entire cohort as well as various stakeholders.

To be eligible to apply for the program, participants must be at least 25 years old and must be nominated by a sponsor or self-nominate. GMLI candidates should have passion for civic engagement and community service, prior leadership experience, and experience working within groups and organizations. GMLI candidates should have prior volunteer or community engagement experience as well as a basic understanding of issues facing their community. Participants from ALL backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply.

The tuition fees for the GMLI 2018-2019 are as follows:
Adult: $500.00
Student: $150.00

Limited scholarships are available for 50% of the fee.  Financial necessity will have to be documented and demonstrated.  Please contact for details.  If a scholarship is granted, attendance to ALL sessions will be required or the scholarship will be forfeited and the recipient will have to pay the remainder of the dues.

Tuition fees are payable in full one week prior to the commencement of the program.  Payment in installments will be acceptable upon approval by the Program Manager.

The selection process consists of three stages:

  1. Online Application: In this stage, applicants will provide basic information about themselves as well as their community involvement and volunteer experiences and help us understand their knowledge of community issues and current events.  Access the application here.
  2. Interviews (group/individual): After submitting the online application, candidates will be asked to participate in one of two scheduled interview days. On this date, participants will be involved in both a group and individual interview. The group interview process will be used to gauge the candidate’s ability to work within a team. An individual interview will also be conducted to discuss the candidate’s past leadership experience, willingness to learn, and his/her interest in leading work that benefits the community.
  3. Selection: After reviewing the candidate’s online application and considering their group/individual interviews, a total of 20 - 30 participants will be selected for the 2018-2019 cohort of the Georgia Muslim Leadership Institute Program.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018:

  • Application deadline

Saturday, August 18, 2018:

  • Interview Day 1

Saturday, August 25, 2018:

  • Interview Day 2

Friday, September 14, 2018:

  • Opening Reception

Saturday, September 15, 2018:

  • Module 1: Understanding Community Leadership
  • Leadership panel with local community leaders
  • Select project groups  

Saturday, October 13, 2018:

  • Module 2: Effective Communication
  • Workshop: Public Speaking
  • Module 3: Group Dynamics

Saturday, November 10, 2018:

  • Module 4: Valuing Communicating Diversity (Lunch Speaker)
  • Module 5: Conducting Successful Meetings

Saturday, December 8, 2018:

  • Module 6: Group Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • Module 7: Managing Conflict

Saturday, January 12, 2019:

  • Module 8: Building Communities through Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Workshop: Financial Literacy
  • Workshop: Running for Public Office

Saturday, February 9, 2019:

  • Module 9: Local Government
  • Workshop: Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Candidate training Session

Saturday, March 9, 2019:

  • ISB Atlanta Leadership Engagement I
  • ISB Atlanta Leadership Engagement II

Saturday, April 6, 2019:

  • Class Field Trip Focusing on Community Issues

Saturday, April 27, 2019:

  • Presentations: Final Group Project

Saturday, June 16, 2019:

  • Graduation


Please give generously by check to:
ISB, P.O. Box 723426, Atlanta, GA 31139
Or online by clicking this link below: