Courtney Lonergan

Courtney Lonergan is the Community Outreach Director for the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. She is an enthusiastic and compelling participatory facilitator who engages the diverse perspectives of her stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to elicit inspired action and thoughtful working groups. She has led several non-profits and grassroots initiatives and is a skilled graphic artist. She is an experienced community organizer who works well with individuals and diverse teams alike, with measurable yet meaningful timelines and work plans. She is a good listener, humble leader, and shows integrity and passion in her work. Courtney is courageous, honest, hard-working and passionate about building peaceful solutions.

Background: Courtney has been a grassroots community organizer in Phoenix, Arizona for over 15 years; with extensive experience working not only with stressed gang communities but highly-successful for profit corporations. Her diverse work ranges from conflict resolution, team building and community partnership formation, to exceptionally professional strategic planning sessions, board retreats and multifaceted sharing rally events and celebrations. Courtney is a lead associate with Partners in Participation, a facilitation, consultation and training initiative which promotes community development and partnership by coaching and modeling participatory methods and tools. Trained by some of the best mentors in the world as a facilitator of participatory methods, Courtney is passionate about bridging different cultural groups, facilitating honest dialogue, and working together in community with sustainable change strategies. Based on her profound skill & knowledge of change initiatives, Courtney is currently collaborating with her students compiling a hands-on user-friendly manual for launching grassroots movements by sharing tools, stories, and methodologies for sustainable change efforts within stressed urban communities.

Credentials: Originally from Alaska, Courtney earned her Bachelors from the University of Idaho in Anthropology and Spanish; and Masters from Oregon State University in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnic Studies; focusing on diversity and discrimination in the United States. She has launched several grassroots movements and studies urban development and change. After working for years with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, she is a master trainer and facilitator of participatory methods and also develops and designs her own processes and methodologies. In her spare time she teaches 300 level Anthropology classes at ASU and engages her students in local & global projects and initiatives.

Application: Neighborhood Partners Inc. was a local grassroots non-profit started by Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), Valley of the Sun United Way(VSUW) and the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) as a response to the L.A. Riots in 1992. As the Lead Facilitator and then Director of this initiative Courtney facilitated grass root community partnerships in some of the most stressed multi-cultural communities in Phoenix. She brought together schools, government groups, neighborhood associations, faith groups, young people, parents, private businesses & corporations to work in asset/resource based partnerships. In order lead this journey, she engaged individuals on a personal basis to create and nurture an environment that celebrated diversity & inclusion by continuously working to create a healthy group structure and overarching guidelines so all could learn and work together respectfully on social justice issues.

As the professional facilitator of two of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy’s programs, the Muslim Liberty Project (MLP) and the American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC), Courtney strives to engage active participation in a necessary grass-roots movement using tools based in diversity and inclusion. Being a community organizer since her youth, Courtney is very aware of the difference between culture and beliefs and is passionate about bringing together liberty-minded Muslims to work together launching a movement of peace and acceptance in America. Her experience working with gang related conflicts and racial supremacists in inner-city & rural communities; gives her the tools, stories, and methodologies to address hate-based philosophies and mindsets. Her asset-based community development approaches engage Muslim youth and their supportive adults in creating positive, meaningful solutions.