Public Narratives and Organizing: A Case Study of the Stand Up with the Teachers Campaign in Jordan

Organizers and practitioners around the globe have long utilized “public narratives” as a way of connecting their work to leadership by learning to tell a story of self, a story of us, and a story of now. In this panel discussion, Ash Center Democracy Fellow Dr. Emilia Aiello examined how public narratives can contribute to community building and power building even under constrained conditions. Dr. Aiello was joined by leaders and practitioners of the Qom Ma’al Muallem (Stand Up with the Teachers) Campaign, which has been organizing for female workers rights in Jordan. The campaign was originally supported by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and coached by Ahel, a community-based organization that has aided organizing efforts that promote freedom, justice, and human rights for over ten years in countries across the Middle East, such as Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.

Panelists include:

  • Nisreen Haj Ahmad, Director of Ahel; Alumni of Harvard Kennedy School
  • Nariman Al-Shawaheen, Coordinator of Stand Up with the Teachers Campaign, Jordan
  • Reem Aslam, International Labor Organization, Jordan
  • Dr. Emilia Aiello (Moderator), Marie Sklodowska-Curie Post-doctoral Fellow, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School

More on this Issue

What led to the rise — and then fall — of participatory democracy in Colombia?
A ballot box reads


What led to the rise — and then fall — of participatory democracy in Colombia?

Research by Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow Jamie Shenk highlights how referendums in Colombia served as a powerful tool to block the expansion of mining and oil enterprises before the practice was curbed by the country’s Supreme Court.