Empowering future community leaders for an inclusive Hong Kong

 
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About Us

 
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The Challenge

Hong Kong is a vibrant and diverse place, but it is also the most unequal city in the developed world; many groups persist in a vicious cycle of disempowerment.

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    Our Vision

    We envision an inclusive Hong Kong where every voice has a say in its future and every person has the power to bring positive change to their community.

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    What We Do

    We provide fellowships to emerging leaders from marginalised and underrepresented communities to empower them to be change-makers and social catalysts.

     
    There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.
    — Arundhati Roy (Renowned Indian Author)
     

    Rights
    Equality
    Solidarity
    Organisation
    Leadership
    Voice
    Empowerment

     
     
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    Our Inaugural Fellowship 

    THEME: RACIAL EQUALITY AND INCLUSION

     

    WHAT

    Our inaugural social justice fellowship program will kick off in the Autumn of 2017, bringing together 15 extraordinary individuals under the cohort theme of racial equality. This will be the first platform in Hong Kong to bring together local, refugee and migrant ethnic minorities and their allies together under one unified banner. The fellows will deepen their understanding of laws and policies about racial discrimination while enhancing their organizational and leadership skills to work towards raising awareness in Hong Kong about diversity and inclusion.

     

    WHY

    Many ethnic minority groups are at a higher risk of being socially excluded and falling under the poverty line; and these trends have only worsened in recent years according to a 2016 study. Xenophobia and negative stereotyping towards refugees, migrants, and local ethnic minorities has worsened in media coverage, negatively affecting public perceptions. However, a recent survey found that 80% of the respondents were keen to learn more about ethnic minorities, indicating that there is a need for further information and members of these communities are the best messengers for providing this.

    ...ethnic minorities (should) themselves become champions for the plight of our communities. We must move away from the “immigrant mentality” and carve a legitimate space for ourselves in dialogue about Hong Kong.
    — STATUS OF ETHNIC MINORITIES REPORT, 2016 (HKU CCPL)
     

    HOW

     
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    GROUP WORKSHOPS

    Fellows will attend six dynamic group workshops, with knowledge-sharing from seasoned experts and social leaders from different causes in Hong Kong

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    1-TO-1 MENTORING

    Each fellow will receive coaching as well as be paired with a community peer mentor to help them develop an action plan to address their own leadership challenges

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    RAISING AWARENESS

    The fellows will apply their skills and collaborate by working together on a final project activity  to raise public awareness about racial equality and inclusion

     
     
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    WHEN

     
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    We received over 60 nominations for our inaugural social justice fellowship with the theme of  racial equality and inclusion in Hong Kong, running from December 2017 to April 2018. We were overwhelmed by the passion and dedication to social justice of all the applicants. While we wish we could have accepted all, we have selected 15 exceptional fellows who have now begun the fellowship. Through this inaugural program, we hope to build future community spokespeople, particularly from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups, and inspire a new generation of social justice leaders.

     

    Qualities we looked for in the Fellows
     

    A demonstrated commitment to serve.  
    We sought candidates who have clearly expressed and acted in ways that tell us they wanted to tackle social justice problems that affect not just themselves, but their communities. They had been able to show that they already had some meaningful impact and were interested in scaling the work up. They are willing to be spokespeople to champion causes for the greater good.

    Showed signs of great potential, but could use more support.  
    We looked for people who are talented, passionate and committed, but have had  little to no opportunities for previous training, capacity-building and leadership development. In particular, they were able to  articulate a very clear and specific challenge that they are facing that they hope the fellowship training and mentoring can help them to address.

    Care about racial equality in Hong Kong and want to take action.  
    While they did not have to necessarily have to have worked directly on this issue before, we sought people who are passionate and eager to work collectively to address the fellowship theme. They had to at least be able to show some interest or track record already on promoting diversity, inclusion or multiculturalism and committed to working on the final project activity.

    Come from very different walks of life.  
    We welcomed people of different backgrounds to apply to the program, particularly those  from disadvantaged and marginalized communities. We appreciate the knowledge and perspective that diversity can bring to the fellowship discussion. Indeed, we looked not just at individuals but the characteristics of the group itself to ensure a diverse and representative cohort.

    Are good role models for  others.  
    Social justice work, to be truly sustainable and authentic, rests on integrity and moral character of its leaders. For that particular reason, we looked for people who are inspiring, humble and collaborative in their approach. They had to follow the golden rule, show respect and concern for others and be consultative in the way they approach their work.

    Our Team

     
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    VICTORIA WISNIEWSKI OTERO
    Founder & CEO
     

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    PETER WILLIAMS (BOARD)
    Business Treasury Head
    Citi Institutional Clients Group APAC

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    SONAL GOVILA
    Communications and Website Development

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    WILLY KWONG (BOARD)
    Executive Director
    Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong

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    CAMILLE BETHOUX
    Fundraising and Development
     

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    SHAPHAN MARWAH (BOARD)
    Barrister
    Baskerville Chambers

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    Hilary Ko
    Fellowship Coordinator

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    MASHAL MUSHTAQ
    Graphic Design

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    ANUSHA SUGUNASABESAN
    Fellowship Coordination

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    ANNA ROTTENECKER
    Fundraising Support

     

    We would also like to credit the help and hard work of our wonderful past volunteers - Hyacintha Faustino, Michael Horman, Ananya Vishwanath, Nupur Agrawal, and Cherry Ng

     

    Advisory Committee

     
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    JEFFREY ANDREWS
    Community Engagement
    Social Worker, Centre for Refugees
    Christian Action

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    CHRISTINE CHEONG
    Leadership, Coaching, and Facilitation
    Executive Coach
    Step Ahead Consulting

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    KELVIN CHEUNG
    Leadership, Coaching, and Training
    COO
    The Good Lab

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    PUJA KAPAI
    Content Development
    Professor, Faculty of Law
    University of Hong Kong

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    ANNIE LIN
    Content Development
    Community Organizer
    Society for Community Organisation

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    TRISH MEECHAM
    Leadership, coaching and training
    Client Director
    Mannaz

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    DEVI NOVIANTI
    Community Engagement
    Equal Opportunities Officer
    Equal Opportunities Commission

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    PHOEBE SO
    Content Development
    Supervisory Board Member & Chairperson, HER Fund
    Institute for Women's Empowerment

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    YIOMBI THONA
    Community Engagement
    Chair
    Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network

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    EMAN VILLANUEVA
    Community Engagement
    Spokesperson
    Asian Migrants Coordinating Body

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    WONG MEI-CHING, MOOLY
    Monitoring and Evaluation
    Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work
    Chinese University of Hong Kong

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    YAU NG LAI-TUEN, MONICA
    Monitoring and Evaluation
    Professional Consultant, Department of Social Work
    Chinese University of Hong Kong
     

    Support Us

     
     
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    VOLUNTEER

    We are looking for seasoned and committed interns and volunteers passionate about social change in areas like fundraising and development, project management and communications to support our team.

     
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    DONATE

    As a new social purpose startup, your donation will go a long way in contributing to the success of our pilot for empowering community leaders and for helping us  in reaching more people and increasing our impact.

     
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    and the kind donations of some big hearted individuals

     
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