International Camp for Democratic Leadership

July 2 – July 8, 2022


The International Camp for Democratic Leadership (ICDL) is a community of college-aged students, educators, and democratically-minded professionals who gather into a workshop environment,  in order to cultivate the behaviors, relationships, and organizational outlook necessary for promoting democratic leadership at all levels of society, from online communities to the highest levels of government. Participants initially gather for one week in the summer but many stay in touch over time.


The world has seen in recent years an alarming rise in anti-democratic practices in the form of the intimidation of the media, voter suppression, anti-intellectualism, and authoritarian leaders who use fear and hatred to stoke division. This rise has often been made possible by means of the very tools of democracy, including social media, public assembly, and free speech (see the reports of  Freedom House, the  National Democratic Institute, and the  Democracy Project by the Penn Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania).


This year’s camp will take place online from July 2 to July 8 via zoom. 

There will be two sessions held each day. Each session will have two simultaneous workshops available. Participants will choose which workshop they would like to attend for each session.


Registration for the camp is $250. Early bird registration at the discounted fee of $200 is available until April 15. Please use the promo code EARLY (case sensitive) at the end of the registration form to receive the discount. The deadline to register is May 1. 

The registration fee includes access to all camp materials, a PDF of the official ICDL 2022 Handbook, and your very own Kallion Sketchbook. Participants have the option to receive a print version of the handbook for an additional $10 on the registration form.

Structure, Regulations, & Expectations

(Photo: Courtesy of Terrie Garcia)

Structure of the Camp

-Eleven facilitators with backgrounds in academia, the nonprofit world, politics, education, and global affairs will provide 22 unique workshops.

-Two sessions will take place each day for 90 minutes each. Participants will be able to choose among two workshops for each session and have the option to work with each facilitator at least once.

-The registration fee includes: access to workshops, a Kallion Leadership sketchbook, a copy of the program guide, and a certificate of participation  for those who participate in at least 6 workshops.

(Photo: Courtesy of Julia Hark)


There will be two sessions held each day at 9 am EST and 12 pm EST. Each session will have two simultaneous workshops available. Participants will choose which workshop they would like to attend for each session.

The opening session will take place on the first day of the camp Saturday, July 2 at 9 am EST. The closing session will take place on the final day of the camp Friday, July 8 at 12 pm EST.

(Photo: Courtesy of Kenthia Roberts)

What Participants Can Expect

-To acquire a better appreciation for how the humanities can inform democratic leadership and governance

-To identify democratic behaviors you want to cultivate

-To reconsider your values in light of what you hope to accomplish for others

-To enjoy the time, space, and fellowship that allows for discussion and reflection on major leadership decisions

To build relationships with like-minded participants of different ages and backgrounds

How it Works

The core of the ICDL is a series of 90-minute workshops. These workshops will be led by facilitators and informed by the participants’ own engagement with humanities artifacts, such as poems, plays, philosophical treatises, biographies, speeches, paintings, sculpture, archaeological sites, and design spaces. Workshops will include some presentation from the facilitators (see below), but will focus mostly on participation from the members of the camp. Participation may include writing exercises, discussion, testimonial, and performance. The ICDL thrives on active participation from all members of the community, which is multi-generational and inclusive of students as well as professionals and retirees who are interested in cultivating and promoting democratic leadership. 

Facilitators & Workshops

Wells vs Willard

How can studying a major falling out between two key figures within the Suffrage Movement help us understand great leadership? In this workshop, we interrogate speeches to unpack the public debates between Ida B. Wells and Francis Willard, and discuss the intersections between race and gender as they pertain to strategic leadership.

Ashleigh Coren

Museum Curator

Washington, DC

Georgia Tsouni

Assistant Professor of Classics

University of Crete

Aristotle’s Defense of Democracy: Knowledge and Other Benefits

The aim of this workshop is to reflect on the role of leaders within a democratic context and how they may draw on the strengths and virtues of the people they lead. Participants will discuss the advantages of democratic involvement on the basis of the images and analogies that Aristotle uses in section 3.11 of his  Politics. For example, we will discuss why Aristotle argues that a potluck dinner is better than a dinner organized by a single individual, or a portrait is “more beautiful” when it combines features from different people. This discussion will extend further to analogies of different forms of political knowledge held by ordinary citizens and those occupying the highest offices, and how this knowledge may be combined. Examples include the cooperation between a host and a cook, or a tenant and a builder.

The Interior Life of a Leader According to Seneca

The aim of this workshop is to examine the ideal attributes of leaders, with a particular focus on the emotions, on the basis of the Stoic tradition. By studying selected texts from Seneca’s  De Clementia(addressing emperor Nero) and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations  we will discuss how the Stoics promoted the view of a leader who controls emotions and masters himself but at the same time shows mercy and humanity towards others. This attitude of ‘reasoned’ emotions underpins the Stoic idea of serving common utility, which for the Stoics has cosmopolitan features as well. If time permits, we will consider examples of politicians who may incorporate a similar approach towards leadership.

Democracy on Trial (Ancient Drama)

Through a selected reading of Aeschylus’ Eumenides and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this workshop will explore how theatre can promote and problematize aspects of democratic leadership.

Democracy on Trial (Modern Drama)

Through a selected reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind, this workshop will examine how dramatic works can reflect the successes and shortcomings of a collaborative, participatory government.

Irene Morrison-Moncure

Associate Professor

NYU Gallatin 

School of Individualized 


Jennifer Heusel

Associate Professor

of Communication 

Coker University

Know Thyself: Role-Playing Others

Role-playing games (RPGs) allow individuals to practice interpersonal communication and team coordination in the pursuit of a shared goal. American historical, Mark C. Carnes, has adopted this game form into a pedagogy to encourage active engagement with history. Players are immersed in historic, yet contemporarily relevant, situations where they take on a character role, who has distinct personality traits and beliefs. Embodying the role of others allows players to get to know themselves, create bonds by way of contestation, and acquire leadership qualities by problem-solving past situations (Carnes, Minds on Fire, pp. 7, 2014). During this workshop, participants will play an abbreviated scenario from the “Threshold of Democracy” game set in Athens 403 BC.

Changemakers as Citizenship in Practice

How can I make change in society? Let’s find out by studying everyday changemakers. The first case study, Briggs v. Eilliott, will focus on the families who sued Clarendon County, South Carolina in 1950 for the purchase of a school bus for the Black students in the district. This case was eventually wrapped into the landmark Brown v. Board of Education. In this workshop, participants will learn about the case from the tour guide publication created by the Green Book of South Carolina. The second case study will focus on Cecil Williams, a South Carolina civil rights photographer. In 2019, Mr. Williams opened a museum to commemorate South Carolina civil rights. Participants will watch an interview with Mr. Williams. In each case study, we will consider questions central to developing effective practices in citizenship and then ponder developing our own community-engaged projects.

Shirley Chisholm: Cultivating Trust

This workshop will contemplate Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 US Presidential Campaign by reviewing her candidacy announcement as an example of bridging extreme beliefs and a fragmented community. In this workshop, we will explore narratives that empower coalitions and engage agonism for the purpose of creating democratic trust.

For and Against: Positive and Negative Thinking for Leaders

If leadership is a craft (tekhne), then it involves imagining, evaluating, refining, and approving, or rejecting, many proposed actions. As a skilled practitioner of craft, a good leader has a well-tuned sense of which proposals are worth immediate embrace, which suggest supportive coercion and demand swift rejection. In this workshop, we contemplate some nuances of positive and negative way finding in fictional leadership scenarios of local and global scope.

Upgrade without Betrayal: On Climbing Value Ladders with Others

In this workshop, we consider how anyone in a democratic society can go about leading themselves and others toward previously unknown goods, made available by membership in a diverse democratic population, without betraying goods previously valued but no longer immediately and/or conveniently available to go for.

John Esposito

Classics Lecturer

UNC Greensboro

Software Engineer

Mary Marin

Teacher of English, Drama,

and Debate

Arsakeia Schools

The Wisdom of the Geese

Are you born a leader, or do you become one? Can you identify different types and modes of leadership, including their pros and cons? What makes a democratic leader? What are your leadership traits? What can geese teach us about leadership? All these questions and more will be answered in this experiential workshop through the use of text, photos, videos, film clips, self-awareness questionnaires, and role-play activities.

A Case for the Opposition

Voltaire once said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This experiential workshop will familiarize aspiring debaters with the rules and tricks of the trade: case preparation, definition of a motion, analysis and structure of an argument, techniques of raising a point of information, principles of refutation, writing speeches, and, ultimately, the power of persuasion. Participants will practice debating a topic in teams (Government vs Opposition) in the British Parliamentary Debate format.

Sophocles’ Antigone Inspiring Modern Day Active Citizenship

Antigone and her opposite, her sister, Ismene, give a strong example of what it means to stand up for what one finds really important; for what it means to have a secret cause that, even if it is supposed to be non-proper, feels right in one’s inner ethical code. We will enlighten Antigone’s leading profile through her monologues, and we will look into the use of rhetoric and ways of persuading. In the end, we will present theatrically our version of modern Antigone adapted in contemporary social issues.

Leading By Example: From 5th Century BC Pericles to Kolokotronis in the 1821 Struggle for Greek Independence

Cultivating love for one’s country/hometown is an important way of promoting values that assure the feeling of belonging. Leaders have always put forward devotion to common good and the way it guarantees everyone’s wellbeing. We will analyze the above rhetoric in the speeches of Pericles and Kolokotronis, two major generals in Greek history. How did they manage to empower their people in very hard times? How did they overcome the challenges of inner conflicts? Participants will apply conclusions to personal speeches about topics that interest them.

The Art of Rhetoric in Designing Campaigns: Analyzing Volunteerism and Activism in Modern Times

Rhetoric is the art of putting words into practice. Modern times require informed and active citizens that create groups with deep interest in ameliorating their communities. We will approach various cases of international organizations and different communication models of inspiring and affecting audiences. Emphasis will be placed on the use of fallacy, propaganda, and how one can easily recognize these kinds of persuading techniques. In groups, we will then design original campaigns and share them digitally.

Valia Loutrianaki

Teacher of Classics

and Greek Language

University of Athens

Misty Louie

Public Health Nurse

USAF Combat Veteran

History Has Its Eyes on You

We will draw inspiration from Lin Manuel Miranda’s song, “History Has Its Eyes on You” from the award-winning musical, Hamilton, originally performed by Christopher Jackson. We will spend time discussing how the song was composed, what impact it had on modern storytelling, and dig into the roots of the type of leadership it inspires in us now. Participants are encouraged to consider the song in the context of their unique cultural, leadership, and social experiences.

One Last Time

We will draw inspiration from Lin Manuel Miranda’s song, “One Last Time,” from the award-winning musical, Hamilton, originally performed by Christopher Jackson and Lin Manuel Miranda. Participants are encouraged to consider what the song tells us about transition of power and the foundation of American democracy.

Dusting Off Democratic Leadership Tips from Greek Literature

This workshop will offer participants practical tools for democratic leadership by engaging with democratic pioneers, Homer, Aeschylus, and Cleisthenes. We will examine each of these thinkers as democratic leaders, identifying what democratic ideas they launched and in what ways their ideas remain relevant to the success of contemporary democratic leadership today.

Andrew Gilmour


Center for the Study of Statesmanship

Catholic University of America

Norman Sandridge

Co-Executive Director

Associate Professor of Political Science

Howard University

Mallory Monaco Caterine

Co-Executive Director

Senior Professor of Practice

Classical Studies

Tulane University

The Smallest Democracy

Co-leadership may appear to be a double-monarchy to those looking at it from the outside, but from the inside perspective it is a continuous practice of democratic leadership. Effectively sharing a leadership role with another person requires recognizing each other’s full humanity, meeting the needs of each other (in order to better meet the needs of the community), and empowering each other to reach their full potential.

Drawing on Greek and Roman sources, this workshop will explore key relational dynamics such as homonoia (“same-mindedness”) and eunoia (“goodwill”), as well as practices and institutions that support dynamic democratic duos. What does it mean to make a decision democratically with one other person? Or set a vision? Or call attention to a problem in the community? We will share some of our personal experiences and lessons of co-leadership in Kallion and facilitate paired activities that will allow everyone to practice leadership in their own smallest democracies and imagine how we can translate our discoveries to larger-scale communities. 


The International Camp for Democratic Leadership 2022 would not be possible without the ICDL Program Committee:

Jeff Beneker, Co-Chair

Melina Tamiolaki, Co-Chair

Julia Hark, ICDL Program Coordinator

Alpha Diallo

Cheyanne Edwards

Sarah Ferrario

Eli Embleton

Jen Heusel

Valia Loutrianaki

Rutendo Mavunga