The events of AALI are open to the entire campus and frequently there are many in attendance. We have had interesting campus-wide discussions on Ferguson, the movie The Help, a biblical theology of race and the Gospel, and Ministry to the City, to name a few. But some people wanted to go deeper.
The Cohort Structure
The cohort framework provides a closed group where we can learn together and learn from each other and build trust in the midst of one ongoing conversation throughout the year. In the context of a sensitive conversation about race, this structure provides enormous benefits. The cohort members also participate in the regular AALI offerings, but additionally spend an additional 4-6 hours per month together developing four core competencies across 13 topics.
4 Competencies across 13 Topics
The AALI Cohort seeks to develop four core competencies: 1) Biblical Theology, 2) Christlikeness, 3) Cultural Intelligence, and 4) Leadership. In other words, upon completion, AALI Cohort participants should be able to articulate what the Bible has to say about race and the Gospel, act in a Christlike manner with those who are different from them, be aware of how dominant and sub-dominant cultures relate to each other, and exhibit informed leadership in African American, multiethnic, or urban contexts.
Those four competencies are developed across 13 topics:
1. Biblical Understanding
2. The Power of the Cross
3. Building Collaborative Relationships
4. Conflict Management and Courageous Conversations
5. Cultural Intelligence I and II
6. Identity Crisis
7. Interpersonal Understanding
8. Living Multiculturally
9. Ministering to the City
10. Race, Racism, and Prejudice I and II
11. Racial Reconciliation and Christian Unity
12. The Heart of Christ
13. The History of African-Americans
Apart from the regular AALI offerings of Modeling, Mentoring, and Fellowship events, the AALI Cohort sets aside 4-6 hours per month for meetings. The Cohort includes two retreats, one to begin the cohort and another in the middle of the year, to develop relationships, build trust, and impart tools.
The pilot year of cohort was the 2014-15 academic year, and to our surprise and delight we had 18 participants. In the second year (2015-16), 22 particpants signed up.
Joining the Cohort
By design, once the Cohort is underway, it is a closed group and lasts for one academic year. Each Fall semester, a new cohort begins, and anyone who is willing to commit to all the events may participate. If you are interested in joining the Cohort, please contact the AALI Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org before the Fall semester begins.