Who We Are

Sign that says "to change everything it takes everyone" carried by crowd in a march


Steve Parks

Steve Parks Istanbus

Steve Parks works in the areas of civic engagement and community partnerships within the the field of English Studies. For the past twenty years, he has created local, national, and international partnerships focused on social justice, democratic practices and human rights. Over the past six years, Parks has worked with democratic activists in the Middle East/North Africa to create publications, such as Revolution by Love: Arab Youth Voices, as well as organizations, such as Syrians for Truth and Justice, projects often linked to university classrooms and community projects. He is the founder of New City Community Press, an international publishing project focused on circulating the voices of the politically marginalized. He is also author of two single author books, Class Politics: The Students’ Right To Their Own Language (NCTE, 2000) and Gravyland: Writing Beyond the Curriculum in the City of Brotherly Love (Syracuse University Press, 2010) as well as co-editor of numerous anthologies focused on civic-engagement and literacy. Currently, he is Editor of Studies in Writing and Rhetoric, the founding academic series in composition/rhetoric, as well as Working and Writing For Change, a national series focused on the best practices of civic engagement by university professors and community members.

Ahmed Abdelhakim Hachelaf


Ahmed Abdelhakim Hachelaf is an Educationalist and NGO Specialist. He focuses on capacity building and education of youth who work to have a social impact. Currently, Hachelaf is an Assistant Professor at Higher Normal School at Laghouat- Algeria. He previously was Resident Research Fellow at the Moynihan Institute at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He also worked  as a project manager for several social enterprises and NGO initiatives nationally and transnationally.  The main objective of the the projects Ahmed led was widening access to technology and opportunities for youth and marginalized segments of society. Ahmed is also a frequent presenter on civic education and democratic schooling in the Middle East and North African region. In 2012, Ahmed was chosen as a Leaders for Democracy fellow and subsequently was chosen to be the delegate of Algeria in a UN event in New York and most recently as a Caux Scholar in Switzerland. His work has appeared in Revolution by Love, where he spoke to issues of social change through education. He is currently working on a single-author book, The Apprenticeship of Leadership in Arab Schools, where he discusses the role of distributed leadership in education.

Associate Directors

Bouchra Rahmouni

Bouchra RahmouniBouchra Rahmouni is 21 years old from El Bayadh, Algeria. She is a student of the English language at l’École Normale Supérieure, which is a teachers’ training college in Laghouat, Algeria. She takes part of the student’s activities in her college and participates in different events as an organizer. She is the former president of the foreign languages club at the ENS (2017-2019). The club is interested in providing young students with the help needed  to develop their leadership and public speaking skills through organizing workshops, lectures and different activities as well as teaching them English and French. Bouchra is graduating next school year to become a middle school teacher of English.

Mikala Jones


Mikala is an Instructor of English at Young Harris College. She holds an MA in English Composition and Rhetoric from UMass Amherst and a BA in English Literature from Young Harris College.  Her predominate interests are prison writing programs, community-engaged pedagogy, and literacy studies. Mikala is actively involved in College Guild and PEN America’s Prison Writing Mentor Program, along with other campus-based organizations. Most recently, she presented “Literacy Assumptions in the Age of Neoliberalism: A Motto’s Explication” at CCCCs in Pittsburgh, PA.

Regional Partners

Larbi Touaf

Larbi Touaf is Professor and former chair of the English Department at Mohammed I University, Oujda, Morocco. He has studied in Morocco, France and the USA. Dr. Touaf is a 2011 Maxwell Celf Fellow and  a Fulbright visiting Scholar at SUNY Cortland for 2013-14. He founded and coordinates The Identity and Difference Research Group at his university. In addition to a number of articles and book chapters, Dr. Touaf has co-edited a number of books among which Minority Matters: Literature,Theory, Society ( 2005), Representing Minorities: Studies in Literature and Ciriticism ( 2006), The World as A Global Agora: Critical Perspectives on Public Space (2008) and North African Women after the Arab Spring: in the Eye of the Storm (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) Dr. Touaf is also a translator; his latest work in this field is Lucy Melbourne’s An American In Morocco/ Une Americaine au Maroc (2008).

Heja Sindi

Heja Sindi holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Salahadin in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. He started his career in academia in 1998-1999 as an Assistant Lecturer and through the years has developed interest in the public sector’s organizations. In 2009 I was awarded a fellowship in civic education with emphasis on public management; the Civic Education and Leadership Program (CELF) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, New York. Through CELF I was able to cement my credentials in business administration with knowledge and practices needed in public administration and politics. Heja has behind him 20 years in academia, management and advisory services. He served as the Head Department of Commerce and Banking Sciences at Duhok University for the academic year 2006-2007 then Head Department of Political Sciences and Sociology in 2011-2012 while being the Director of Career Development Centre simultaneously. In 2014-2015 he became the Chair of Business and Management Sciences at the University of Kurdistan Hewler (UKH); the first English-medium teaching university in Kurdistan Region and Iraq. In 2008, he got a TOT certificate in Strategic Planning and Local Governance from RTI International where he started giving training and advice to different public organizations in areas of public sector management. I see a pressing need to create a new generation of leaders who would foster the contingent frameworks of participative decision making. To introduce more sustainable solutions to the problems arising in public and private sector organizations, especially in the MENA region.

Lori Shorr

tug59125Dr. Lori Shorr’s interests in education stem from the two paths that brought her to Temple. First, she pursued her doctoral degree in critical and cultural studies with an emphasis on how social changes are connected to, and influenced by, narratives –be they political, historical, social or personal. Second, she has culminated a 20-year career in policy development and implementation from special assistant to three Pennsylvania Secretaries of Education to eight years as the chief education officer for the City of Philadelphia, which entailed setting the mayor’s policy agenda in K-12 and higher education. The courses she teaches and the work she continues to do in the community, as well as the mentoring she does with students, is therefore centered around the theories which help to explain how power, representation, constructions of social justice and community interact with the “lived experiences” and policy realities in specific historical junctions. She is currently working on building a collaboration of regional school leaders who are committed to working on communication across sectors of education (district, charter, private) to increase opportunities for success for all students through holistic and project-based instruction. She remains committed to increasing the capacity of the schools and the nonprofit sector in Philadelphia in order to bring about equity in educational opportunity in hopes of a more just city.

Student Participants 2019

Isabelle Alexander

Hind Hand Benlakhal

Jumana Boughazi

Najwa Blossom

Michael Anthony Chehade

Hadil Charnouh

Hachemi Chaima

Fouad Cherif

Bõüçhêrît Djihâd

Meredith Noelle DiIoia


Abigail Dougherty

Jonathan Hart Ellis

Isabelle Ezratty

Meredith Gallagher

Alex Granner

Omari John

Allaoua Hisham Khallil

Khadidja Khelid

Sali Lili

Madhumita Napa

Samantha Rose Owens

Kathleen Regalado

Chiraz Retimi

Bouchra Rahmouni

Saqib Rizvi

Aissa Seddiki

Lucia Shuff-Heck

The current list of participating institutions includes: Ecole Normale Superieure (Algeria), Mohammed I University (Morocco), Syrians for Truth and Justice (Turkey/France), Tawteer National Association (Algeria), Temple University (United States of America), University of Kurdistan (Kurdistan), and University of Virginia (United States of America).

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