Youth Leading the Movement: A Global Dialogue on Anti-Racism

On November 20, the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE) hosted “Youth Leading the Movement: A Global Dialogue on Anti-Racism,” a webinar focused on foregrounding youth voices in the current anti-racism and anti-ethnic discrimination movement around the world.

The webinar’s goal was three-fold: 1) facilitate a productive global dialogue on the issues of racial and ethnic discrimination, 2) act as an empowering platform for youth voices in the peaceworking space, and 3) explore the approach of peace education as a means to transform oppressive systems.

The webinar featured 3 panels, providing a space for regional dialogue amongst youth activists from USA & Canada, Eastern Europe & Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. A 30-minute live dialogue and Q&A session followed the panels.

The dialogue was designed and coordinated by youth interns of the Global Campaign for Peace Education: Keaton Nara, Nareg Kuyumjian, Nazeleh Jamshidi, and Caelan Johnston. We hope this event to be a catalyst for future youth-led and youth-focused efforts of the Global Campaign.

Full Webinar

Video recordings of the full webinar and regional dialogues are now available.

Regional Panels/Interviews (*also included in the full webinar)

Americas

South Asia

Ukraine

Central Asia

Youth Panelists

Americas Panelists

Alison Chan –  Canada

Alison Chan is a community-oriented developer of organizations, programs, people, projects, products, and partnerships. She lives in and grew up in the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam)), also known as Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her interest in the success and intersectionalities of people, society, technology, and teams led to over 14 years of experience working and volunteering in program development, business development, communications and marketing, campaigns, human resources, operations, and web development roles. Her work and perspectives are built on the foundation of studying discourses, society, politics, cultures, languages, geography, and psychology as an immigrant, person of colour, traveler, and athlete. She spent a large portion of her undergraduate degree studying power, civil society, and governments around the world. She is the former Executive Director and interim Communications Director of STAND Canada, a youth-led anti-genocide organization.

Kathy Sun – Washington, DC

Kathy Sun is the Special Assistant to the CEO at Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization. In her role, she leads the strategy and implementation of the organization’s efforts to spread peacebuilding mindsets and skills beyond its on-the-ground programming. Her work and interests focus particularly on young people in the US. Previously, Kathy was a Strategy & Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, where she worked at the intersection of healthcare and exponential technologies, such as AI and blockchain. She also led the probono relationship with the CEO of an anti-human trafficking nonprofit. Kathy graduated from Swarthmore College with an Honors degree in Economics and Education.

Elaine Williams – Virginia

Elaine Williams is an activist, organizer, and advocate for equity and justice for marginalized communities. Elaine currently serves as the Director of RVA Thrives with Virginia Community Voice. She is an expert in bringing an equity lens into housing, homeless services, and community engagement. She is passionate about equipping individuals in marginalized communities with the tools to make decisions around issues that impact their community on a daily basis. Elaine’s life goal is to inspire people to tap into their inner light that will lead to their awakening to becoming the best version of their authentic self. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, doing modern calligraphy, and training to become a runner.

South Asia Panelists

Abdul Ghafar Nazari – Afghanistan

Abdul Ghafar Nazari, Civil Society Activist. He is currently working as Senior Advisor to a justice project. He has over 13 years of experience working with leading organizations. He has held leadership and management roles and worked with various sectors from NGO to Banking from Telecommunications to Projects. He also volunteers with many national and international organizations. He is a fellow of Asia 21 Young Leaders, One Young World Ambassador, He is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Tech Forum Central Asia, World Youth Festival, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Young Leaders Forum. Additionally, he was a delegate in Afghanistan and Pakistan Youth Dialogue, and a member of Reform and Change Network. He is certified as an international integrity officer. He has received numerous accolades from Afghanistan and abroad. He has been in the leadership role for many conferences and dialogues that are organized nationally.

Abdul holds a master’s degree in International Relations from University of Afghanistan and bachelor’s degree from the Law and Political Sciences Faculty of Kabul University, He has a diploma in Marketing from American University of Afghanistan, He has a Leadership diploma from Silk Road Solutions and is a graduate of Islam Qalah High School. He was a youth exchange student through the American Councils for International Education 2005.

Arwin Shams Siddiquee – Bangladesh

Arwin Shams Siddiquee, 17, is a high school student, aspiring writer, and social worker from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Arwin is currently engaged primarily as a writer for various youth organizations and has worked with issues ranging from animal welfare to special needs education. Arwin strives to professionally promote equity and fair treatment and actively push for these in every organization he works with. Arwin believes that differences such as gender, race, ethnicity and others should never be a metric for discrimination and that it is the duty of each of us to stand with our fellow human beings to create a better world for everyone.

Emarine Kharbhih – India

Emarine Kharbhih is the Program Manager of Impulse NGO Network, her work consists of scaling Impulse Model to neighboring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar and creating partnerships with stakeholders such as Governments, CSOs, Law Enforcement Agencies, Lawyers, Service Providers for Rehabilitation, Reintegration especially for cross border human trafficking cases. She engages with stakeholders at many levels in terms of organizing trainings to sensitize them through training of Media persons, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, NGOs and bridges the gap between them for smooth communication and proper assistance to trafficked persons and survivors.

Emarine Kharbhih represented Asia in International Youth Advisory Congress (IYAC) CEOP, London to formulate Policies and Key Recommendations on Online Safety and Security for Youth and Cyber Crimes for the United Nations Organisation.

In 2015, Emarine was involved in documenting Urgent Appeal on Human Rights Violations in India for India Desk at Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong. During that time, she has also published a Critique on the Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 2015 and the Status of Women on Marital Rape in India, 2016.

She represented India in London, in a trip supported by the British High Commission in New Delhi, to participate in the Capacity Building of High Level Stakeholders in Using Information Technology, to Effectively Combat Human Trafficking in North East India under Impulse Model. She also participated in the Indian Delegates of the Cross Border Exposure and Learning Trip to Myanmar and Thailand under Impulse Model.

She is an Acumen India Fellow and G P Birla Fellowship for Women Leaders of Ananta Aspen Centre.

Heela Yoon – Afghanistan

Heela Yoon is the Founder and CEO of Afghan Women Welfare and Development Association (AWWDA) which is a grassroot level civil society organization based in Afghanistan working towards women and young women empowerment and capacity building. She is currently working at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) as the Fourth Cora Weiss Peacebuilding Fellow, a one-year fellowship program managed by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders for young women peacebuilders from conflict affected countries to support global advocacy at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) Agendas.  As the Cora Weiss Peacebuilding Fellow in New York City, Heela supports the implementation of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders’ Young Women for Peace and Leadership Program in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, which enhances the capacities of young women from conflict affected communities to build sustainable peace and promote gender equality. Heela has also contributed to data collection and analysis of key WPS and YPS priorities and recommendations from grassroots peacebuilding civil society organizations from over 40 countries, which will be used for global advocacy during the processes around the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Prior to joining GNWP as the Cora Weiss Peacebuilding Fellow, Heela worked as a Desk officer and Coordinator for the United Nations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan (MoFA). She was responsible for handling the desks of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and The Word Organization for Animal Health (OIE). She has also assisted the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Security Council Desks. She is currently a member of the committee for implementing National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 at MoFA. Heela graduated from Kabul University with a bachelor’s in law and Political Science in 2017. She has a second bachelor’s degree in BBA Finance from the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). She is currently a member of Global Nomads Group and Soola’s School of Leadership Afghanistan and recipient of Chevening scholarship.

Having founded her civil society organization, Heela is committed to uplifting women from poverty and illiteracy and helping them participate in different spheres of life where they are needed.

Individual Interviews

Hulkar Kayumova – Uzbekistan

Hulkar Kayumova has 16 years of professional experience, including 9 years in teaching English as a foreign language and 5 years in teacher training in Andijan. She is currently a Program Manager for Search for Common Ground, where she is administering a grant-making program for youth development organizations in the Andijan region. For the last 2 years, Hulkaroy has worked for Shinon Global, where she manages in-service professional development for healthcare workers, and coordinates care for patients in need. During her career, Hulkaroy has successfully completed two competitive IREX Programs: Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program and the Edmund Muskie Fellowship Program. She has also managed projects in the field of education, supporting teachers in Professional Development and Coordinated Access Microscholarship Program by the US Department of State, as well as grant-funded public health projects focused on maternal health in rural areas. Hulkaroy holds both a degree in Journalism from Andijan State University and a Masters in Education with a focus on Special Education from the University of Utah (United States).

Andrii Sikoryn – Ukraine

Andrii Sikoryn is a 16 year-old teenager living in Ukraine. Andrii began a life of activism when he was 13, when he understood that this world needs changes and everyone–  even children– can make them possible. As a youth peer-to-peer trainer and facilitator, activist, and change-maker, Andrii wants to make a difference in this world. Andrii is also a leader in the young initiative “Double N” – a team of teenagers from Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine), which works with youth participation, non-formal education, and culture. Double N creates projects from teenagers for teenagers. Together, this team of young people work to break down the age stereotypes and fight against ageism by challenging societal norms and empowering youth. Currently, Andrii is creating a community of active teens in the Carpathian region that educate and organize different social projects together. Andrii is also an organizer of numerous educational, cultural and art projects in Ivano-Frankivsk. He is even a trainer at the School of Cultural Management and Creative Industries. Today he works on research of youth participation in the Ukrainian educational system and designs methodologies to improve it according to youth needs and desires. Overall, Andrii believes that today the new generation has the power of creating positive changes in our world.

Dialogue Coordinators / Interviewers

This dialogue was conceived, coordinated, and conducted by GCPE’s 2020 summer interns from Georgetown University.

Keaton Nara is a student at Georgetown University (’22) majoring in Justice and Peace Studies, while minoring in Mandarin Chinese. She discovered her passion for peace education in high school, when she envisioned and created International Peer Education on Climate Change—IPECC—an organization designed to train high school students how to teach their peers about environmental justice. The organization’s mission is founded in a vision of global empathy, where students can become aware and compassionate about the different struggles other countries face from climate change. During her time at Georgetown, Nara has continued to study justice issues she is passionate about, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, mass incarceration, and environmentalism. Her vision for the future is founded in her desire to empower and educate communities across the world. Nara hopes to use her work with the Global Campaign for Peace Education to connect domestic and international communities in an effort to gradually transform global conflicts.

Nareg Kuyumjian is a senior studying International Relations at Georgetown University. As an undergraduate, he has engaged in the environmental movement on and off campus with his various forms of activism including field organizing to ban single-use Styrofoam in California, researching and analyzing circular economy systems, and revitalizing the recycling program on campus. He plans to build on his experience working on environmental issues by completing a dual-degree in Master’s in Public Policy and Master’s in Environmental Management with the intention of exploring more deeply how the sustainable management of resources can drive transboundary peacebuilding. Alongside his environmental work, Nareg is heavily involved in his Armenian-American community both in Los Angeles, his hometown, and in Washington DC. Upon other roles, he is proud of his contribution to the campaign that resulted in both houses of Congress recognizing the Armenian Genocide for the first time in US History. In all aspects of life, Nareg has always been one that sees the individual as part of the whole and intends to use his skills and experience to build united and empowered communities across the world.

Nazeleh Jamshidi is a student majoring in Government, and Justice and Peace, in Georgetown College. Nazeleh is a gender equality and human/women’s rights activist. She has extensive experience in designing, creating, and managing projects and programs that promote gender equality, women empowerment and human rights in developing and post-war countries, Afghanistan. She has assisted various governmental and International organizations such as Municipalities, the Department of Agriculture, the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the UN, and USAID to include gender perspectives as part of their policies, strategies, and Afghanistan-based foundational documents. Nazeleh is committed to human rights and women’s rights and she has helped a considerable number of women in 27 provinces of Afghanistan to recognize and claim their rights as humans and members of their communities.

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