[h4]Communications and Training Officer[/h4]
[blockquote]I'm an American born in a small farming town outside of Detroit. I’ve studied and lived in the Middle East, worked as a researcher on youth projects, and helped found a new network called Young Professionals in Human Rights. Growing up, my parents took me to every community event there was and I saw the value of small organisations in the life of my family and community. One of my indulgent obsessions is taking photos of food and blogging about it.[/blockquote]
Where do you live now and where have you lived before?
I live in London and have been in the UK for almost three years. I was born in a small midwest town in the US and have lived in Cairo, Washington D.C. and Oxford.
Why are you interested in migration?
I am interested in migration because I am a migrant myself. I feel in my life how being a migrant gives me different rights from British citizens. I am concerned about a backlash in both British and American societies against multiculturalism. The strength and vitality of our communities and our countries depends on how we treat and include both migrants and citizens alike. I also think that new technologies and online spaces provide an opportunity for migrants who are innovative and creative to be influential in shaping our globalising world.
What do you do at The Forum?
I run the 7-Week Digital Activism course for leaders of migrant and refugee organisations. I manage the Forum’s communication strategy and our accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If you’re talking to The Forum online, you’re probably talking to me 🙂
How did you come to work at The Forum?
I knew about the Forum from previous work with Most Mira Youth Festival where I did photography and media workshops with young people in northern Bosnia. When this position came up at MRCF, I jumped at the opportunity to work at such an innovative and grassroots organisation.
What do you think is unique about The Forum?
The Forum is uniquely positioned between frontline, grassroots migrant organisations that do the hard work of day-to-day integration and the national policy framework which attempts to regulate and control migrants’ lives. These two worlds- that of the average migrant and of the policy maker- rarely meet. It is our job at the Forum to connect, empower, and advocate for migrants’ rights and we are uniquely qualified because many of us are migrants ourselves.
What issues do you think are most important to
migrants in London?
Legal aid cuts. Hands down these cuts will prevent migrants from accessing justice. Without the threat of going to court, many service providers will not respond to simple complaints or letters of request. Justice will only be available for those who can afford it.
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
The Forum will be more creative and innovative online, so watch this space. We are finding our online voice as an organisation and are ready to flex our digital muscles!