International Camp for Democratic Leadership

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).

Structure, Regulations, & Expectations

(Photo: Courtesy of Terrie Garcia)

Structure of the Camp

-Facilitators with backgrounds in academia, theatre, the nonprofit world, politics, education, and global affairs will provide 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)


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

(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. 


The International Camp for Democratic Leadership 2023 would not be possible without the ICDL Program Committee:

Jeff Beneker, Co-Chair

Melina Tamiolaki, Co-Chair

Julia Hark, ICDL Program Coordinator

Mallory Monaco Caterine, Co-Executive Director

Norman Sandridge, Co-Executive Director

Alpha Diallo