The next generation of World Shapers is already here
By Jayshawn Lee and Isaac Todd
Significance and Promise
Young people have always been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights. From the Greensboro counter sit-ins to the Vietnam War protests to the Velvet Revolution, Tiananmen Square, the Arab Spring and countless other calls for justice throughout history, emerging leaders in America and in the world have often been catalysts for societal change.
Today’s pressing challenges – authoritarianism, extremism, systemic injustice, abuse of technology – are more complex, dynamic and interdisciplinary than ever, and comprehensive solutions will once again require the input of the next generation of leaders. Our voices are strong. Because even on issues where the worst impacts of inaction won’t be felt for decades, we will see those consequences firsthand. Our energy is limitless. Because we are driven by ideals and are not satisfied with the status quo. Look around you and you’ll see more and more changemakers leveraging global networks and the latest innovations to overcome barriers and improve countless lives.
Human Rights First (HRF) recognizes the imperative to fully integrate talented young professionals at all levels of the organization, applying new ideas to hold oppressors accountable and free people from injustice. With this in mind, HRF is proud to launch its first Emerging Leaders Advisory Council (ELAB).
The Emerging Leaders Advisory Council is a cohort of organizers, advocates, advocates, creatives, veterans, scholars and thought leaders, each striving every day to create a better world. ELAB’s collective identities are exponential when considering our diverse skills, vast education, international backgrounds and myriad cultural experiences. Much of the world can be seen through us. Much of the world will be impacted by us.
Amplify the mission
Human Rights First has a broad reach. His programming and initiatives provide tangible redress to those whose human rights have been violated. Yet we will not stop until injustice everywhere has been eliminated. The sad reality is that this goal will not be achieved today or tomorrow, so we must continue to build intentional relationships with those who will carry our ideals into the future. This means bringing young professionals dedicated to human dignity and freedom into the fold, further expanding the breadth and depth of the HRF’s impact. The Emerging Leaders Advisory Council will help lead efforts to expand our demographics and build our organizational resilience.
The world is entering a new era of extreme and authoritarian tendencies. Human Rights First is evolving to deal with these new threats and the iterations of persistent threats that we have already seen. HRF’s focus on systemic injustice and how modern technology amplifies intolerance and undermines democracy will be priority issues for the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council. ELAB members are native technologists, raised in an interconnected world. We bring an innovative skill set to modern challenges.
In contrast to the relative stability of the post-Cold War unipolar era, ELAB members have grown under the shadow of 9/11, with a rising China and an increasingly hostile Russia offering alternative visions. to a rules-based international order based on liberal values. . This education offers us a unique lens through which to view our changing world. We see the impact these changes will have on human lives in the years to come and bring a new perspective that could light the way through these darker times. The American ideal of universal human rights has not always held true in practice. Yet even today it remains an ideal worth pursuing and a beacon of hope for those seeking a better life at home and abroad.
It is our duty to act and change the discourse around human rights. The struggles we face vary, seemingly distinct but in many ways interconnected. Harmful US immigration policies impact asylum seekers at home while being strikingly similar to refugee resettlement practices across Europe. Autocrats abroad imitate American demagogues and are in turn invited to spread anti-democratic extremism. International solidarity is essential to address transnational challenges. The Emerging Leaders Advisory Council has a global reach and will partner with like-minded organizations to identify commonalities and generate lasting solutions. Although human cultures, beliefs and customs vary greatly, each of our lives deserves a common standard of care.
ELAB comprises three committees: Advocacy, Fundraising and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), highlighting our core competencies and streamlining our priority initiatives. As you may know, important dates like Giving Tuesday (November 29e) and Human Rights Day (December 10e) are fast approaching. We look forward to joining you, the wider human rights community, in events and calls to action on these dates and others in the months to come. We throw our considerable weight into the struggle for human rights; ready to take up the torch of those whose footsteps we are following.
The Emerging Leaders Advisory Council will connect with new generations of donors, highlighting the work of Human Rights First through in-person events and online media campaigns. We are Zoomers. The TikTok generation. And with tech platforms like Twitter and Facebook cutting budgets and cutting thousands of jobs (including content monitoring and human rights teams), ELAB is stepping in at an opportune time to provide additional support. to social media at Human Rights First.
Around the world, our most cherished values are under relentless pressure, putting lives on the line. The HRF’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Council will not be complacent – we will not condone continued human rights abuses . We are emerging as the next generation of advocates for change, ready to do the hard work needed to make the world a fairer place for those who struggle every day to live with dignity. We demand that human rights come first. To learn about Board initiatives, join or support in any capacity, please connect with our Executive Chairman Members.
Nathan dos Santos, associated with individual donations at Human Rights First
Jayshawn Lee, Advocacy Committee Chair
Marvelous Maeze, Executive Co-Chair and DEI Committee Chair
Isaac H. Todd, Executive Co-Chair