The ICC Fellowship provides a special opportunity for young leaders from around the world to make a change in their own community through the creation and implementation of projects on inclusion and citizenship. Launched in 2016 as the 6 Degrees Junior Fellowship, we have welcomed 22 fellows from 11 different countries into the program. These outstanding young people were chosen based on their dedication to fostering inclusion and building citizenship in their respective communities.
Country of birth: United Kingdom
Current location: London, United Kingdom
Project: Founder of Gl!tchUK, Seyi Akiwowo educates youth in the UK about digital rights and responsibilities, enabling them to be active digital citizens and agents in tackling the rise of hate and abuse online. The Digital Citizenship Workshop has been delivered to over 3,500 young people across the UK and Europe. Key findings from the pilot 2018 Digital Citizenship Workshops show that from one one-hour intervention alone, 86% of young people surveyed said they would behave differently online as a result of the information they learned during the workshop. Young people also said they felt an increased sense of self-awareness and responsibility of how their behaviour could impact others. International governments, the UN, and civil society organizations have demonstrated interest in Seyi’s work on race, gender and online discrimination, and she has presented her work at various international forums.
Bio: Seyi (Shay-ee) was elected as the youngest black female councillor in Newham. She is a London School of Economics graduate, and a Fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts.
Country of birth: Philippines
Current location: Vancouver, Canada
Project: TechInColour is a community hub that provides the necessary skills, resources, and networks for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPoC) working or interested in the technology industry within the Lower Mainland area of Vancouver. Through five sold out TechInColour events, featuring eight speakers and 187 attendees, April helped to build networks, skills, career learnings, and scholarship opportunities. The events hosted were tailored and co-designed to highlight topics that serve and affect BIPoC communities. Topics explored included microaggressions at work, how to start a career path in tech as a BIPoC individual, and how to make tech workplaces more inclusive. During the first public event, TechInColour was also able to fundraise for Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory to stand in solidarity with First Nations fighting for their right to their land.
Bio: April is a front-end developer and designer with New/Mode, an engagement platform for social change.
Country of birth: Brazil
Current location: New York, United States
Project: Eduarda created Espacopubli.co, a digital platform that uses interactive maps to enable citizens to participate in civic events, and to organize, connect, and reclaim public space in Brazil. Whether through political protests, artistic gatherings, community gardens, or carnival blocks, different initiatives are reinventing urban citizenship by reimagining public space. The platform also enables people to access tools and resources to organize on their own, such as case studies, urban data, legislation, and how-to guides. It also expands conversations generally restricted to urban planners to a larger public—presenting maps of income distribution and accessibility, and the importance of public spaces and collective action for more equitable and inclusive urban development. In collaboration with organizations from the Brazilian network for collaborative urbanism, Eduarda hopes to connect these urban practices nationwide.
Bio: Eduarda is a strategic and urban designer. She moved to New York to pursue her MSc in design and urban ecologies at Parsons School of Design and is currently working for the NYC Department of Transportation.
Country of birth: Canada
Current location: Ottawa, Canada
Project: Inspired by the current political climate of technology, and the curiosity and creativity of young people’s use of technology, Reimagining the Internet asks youth to see their impact on the future of technology and gives them the tools they need to be informed and empowered when it comes to their digital rights. Megan’s project involved design-thinking workshops and an interactive website built for youth to learn about two fundamental areas of digital rights: data rights and accessibility. She worked with about 50 students aged 12-18 in the Waterloo Region, developing their understanding of their relationship with the internet as political. They used different techniques: empathizing, problem identification, and seeking solutions to understand how these digital rights scenarios could impact society and individuals. Megan also designed case studies for engagement sessions which are available for teachers and youth leaders to use in workshops, classrooms and discussion groups.
Bio: Megan is a youth engagement activist, who for the last six years has been interested in how youth engage on politics. She helped co-found Ottawa Civic Tech in 2016.
Country of birth: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Canada
Project: An initiative that will equip diverse youth organizers in the City of Toronto with the digital skills necessary to tackles some of their communities pressing social problems.
Bio: Yonis is a passionate and active community builder. He believes in a grassroots approach to community engagement and development. Yonis currently serves as the Fund Development Coordinator at Artscape and previously served as the Community Engagement Lead at the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club. He sits on the Board of Directors at FoodShare and advises various community groups in his community of York-South Weston in Toronto.
Country of birth: Canada
Current location: Mississauga, Canada
Project: A project that will explore how young people get engaged in their communities and, in consultation with these young people, design an online tool to facilitate greater youth engagement.
Bio: Janelle is the founder of Helping Hands, a platform that helps youth volunteer and get civically engaged while building skills for their future careers. She delivers workshops to newcomer and racialized youth to build leadership skills and more to ensure all youth are active citizens. Janelle also founded HackItMac, a collaborative community to learn about technology, and organized DeltaHacks, the first student-run hackathon in North America with a focus on enabling positive social change.
Country of birth: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Canada
Project: The Somali Mental Health Project (SMHP) is a website that provides accessible information on mental health for Somali immigrants, refugees, and youth. It provides linguistically appropriate information on mental-health illnesses, symptoms, treatment options, and available services in the GTA. Hiba aims to promote digital literacy and inclusion by making information accessible online in Somali through the SMHP. Mental-health information is provided through written and audio translations to remove language barriers and provide vital education. This will help refugees and immigrants conceptualize and articulate their mental health needs. SMHP seeks to mitigate the barriers to care that Somalis face, such as service accessibility, language barriers, stigma, and fear. The SMHP provides information on services including inpatient and outpatient services, community health centres, crisis hotlines, language interpretation services, and how to find a therapist of colour.
Bio: Hiba is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in international development studies with a minor in critical migration studies and sociology.
Country of birth: Nigeria
Current location: Victoria, Canada
Project: Ruth produced a documentary, “Gender Equity in Tech,” that brings to life the experiences of women, immigrants, Indigenous people, and other minority groups working in the tech industry, with a focus on how inclusion can be achieved. The documentary has been viewed by over 250 people at conferences, workshops, and meetings. Those interviewed began a support group for women working in the sector to share experiences and advocate for inclusiveness in the workplace. The Community Foundations of Canada, through the Victoria Foundation, will use the documentary to spread information about gender equity in communities. Ruth also organized The Inclusion Project, a platform that connects stakeholders across public and private sectors on issues of race and reconciliation, gender equity, and youth engagement.
Bio: Ruth hosts and produces Community Connect, on Shaw TV, where she engages stakeholders on various topics around equity, diversity, and inclusion. She holds a master’s degree in international communication from Royal Roads University, and a certificate in leadership and organizing from Harvard University.
Country of birth: United States
Current location: Marlborough, United States
Project: Samantha managed a community-building pilot project that used technology to connect students from diverse backgrounds through peer-to-peer feedback on civic education and political engagement projects. She worked with Generation Citizen (GC), a national organization that partners with teachers and schools to ensure every student in the United States receives an effective civics education. By using the online platform Padlet, students working on GC’s action civics projects were connected to a partner class. This pilot enabled students to see how their project resonates with others in their community and how to rally support to solve a local issue. Each classroom received a $300 stipend to further support their targeted actions and advocacy on gang violence, homelessness, litter and garbage, and mental-health issues. The classrooms identified the root causes of their chosen issues and advocated around specific legal acts or funding requests.
Bio: Samantha is a Senior Program Associate and FAO Schwarz Fellow at Generation Citizen. Samantha graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in May 2017.
Country of birth: Romania
Current location: Bucharest, Romania
Project: Concerned about young people’s decreasing levels of civic engagement, European Heroes aims to inspire young people to take action at a local, national, and European level by connecting them with relatable role models and hands-on advice on how to act and make their voices heard. David’s project focused on a digital platform that showcases the stories of diverse, young political activists, and inspires others to become active European citizens. Each video features a young person who undertook a specific type of civic activism, from signing a petition, to taking part in street demonstrations, to joining an NGO. The site serves as a portfolio of useful tools and inspirational examples. European Heroes was selected as one of the Top 5 Active Citizenship initiatives in Europe, from over 150 submissions, by the European Youth Award jury, and has been nominated for several other awards.
Bio: David is the co-founder of European Heroes, and an active member of the Global Shapers Community, a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges.
Thank you to the following partners for supporting the 2018 ICC Fellowship:
Victoria Nunes & The Lions Group
LiUNA! Local 183
Global Centre for Pluralism
City of Vancouver
BUTTERFIELD FAMILY FOUNDATION