The SNF Agora Institute presents a discussion on building sustainable movements out of single-action moments in a new autocratic environment. The event will feature SNF Agora-RDI dissident in residence Evan Mawarire with guest discussants, Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution and Joey Siu, Hongkongese-American human rights advocate and co-founder of the student coalition, the Hong Kong Higher Institutions International Affairs Delegation (HKIAD).
About the speakers:
Evan Mawarire came to prominence as a democracy activist in Zimbabwe as a clergyman who founded #ThisFlag Citizen’s Movement, which challenged the brutal dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. For organizing protests and training citizens, Mawarire was imprisoned, tortured, and charged with treason. Now living in the United States, Mawarire is the director for education at Renew Democracy Initiative, a nonprofit and non-partisan organization whose aim is to strengthen democracy in America and globally. He is the first SNF Agora-RDI dissident in residence.
Jamila Raqib is a specialist in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action and the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the research and application of nonviolent action worldwide. For more than 15 years, she worked closely with the late Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar of the field of strategic nonviolent action. Since 2002, she has been focusing on the development and distribution of educational resources on nonviolent action and has conducted workshops on strategic planning for human rights organizations, universities, and governmental bodies, and for individuals and groups struggling for diverse objectives, including to oppose dictatorship and combat corruption, and to attain political rights, economic justice, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment. As a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, she conducted research on how we can design better systems for nonviolent action research and education. She is currently working on the development of a learning platform to help groups prepare strategic plans to conduct struggles for the defense and attainment of their civil and political rights.
Joey Siu is a Hongkongese-American human rights advocate. She currently works at an international non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on international development where she covers Hong Kong, Taiwan and China illiberal influence portfolios. She played a vital role in the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests of 2019 as a former student leader, organizing on-campus and citywide large scale protests and demonstrations. She also co-founded the student coalition, the Hong Kong Higher Institutions International Affairs Delegation (HKIAD) which led a cohesive effort in international advocacy for Hong Kong. Following escalating online and physical harassment and threats, she fled Hong Kong in late 2020 and settled in Washington D.C. She served as the advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) and policy advisor to Hong Kong Watch from 2020 to 2022.