We are happy to announce the first ever IFF Community Empowerment Program Cohort!

By October 17, 2019 November 8th, 2019 Blog, IFF Updates, Uncategorized

We are happy to announce the first ever Internet Freedom Festival Community Empowerment Program (CEP) cohort!

The ten individuals chosen for IFF 2020 represent 10 countries and 8 regions of the world, and are reflective of the diverse disciplines and communities found in the Internet Freedom space. The CEP is a new program of the IFF designed for community builders working at the intersection of human rights and technology.

The CEP cohort of community builders will be curating the IFF program, as well as receiving training to hone their skills in diverse areas, such as facilitation and secure organizing. In addition, they will obtain resources to either kick-start or grow their own community empowerment projects, and play a key role in strengthening ties between their community and groups throughout the world. 

CEP is an evolution of the former IFF Fellowship program. This year, applications came from 62 countries, with the top three countries being Nigeria, India, and Brazil. We are proud to present to you this year’s cohort:

Andres Alaerkhon-Schiavi, Chile

Currently based in Santiago de Chile, is an architect – MSc Project Management. Lead of FADe Project and Cofounder of South Lighthouse, an organization that specializes in planning, consulting, training, monitoring and control projects oriented to the development of technologies at the service of human rights, security and privacy. Interested in democracy, civil society and human rights.

Dhiren, India

As a first generation learner and a proud Dalit queer person, Dhiren recently acquired their doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University with the dissertation “Queer Cartographies of Desires in Delhi.” Their research maps the power dynamics within gay dating apps to foreground discrimination and alienation of queer bodies that come from marginalized locations of caste and religion. Currently, they are working as a research associate with Project Mukti where they work towards empowering and co-creating equitable spaces for marginalized communities.

Jorge Luis Sierra, USA

Jorge is the co-founder and president of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, a non-profit organization based in Edinburg Texas. He is leading the Investigative Reporting Border Hub project to produce data-driven stories on corruption issues at both sides of the U.S. – Mexico border. He created digital maps to track crime, corruption, and attacks of journalists in Panama, Mexico, and Iraq. He also developed the Salama web application for journalists and human rights defenders to conduct a risk assessment and improve their security posture.

Pablo Aguilera, Mexico

Pablo Aguilera is a genderqueer activist that have devoted their career to setting underserved populations at the center of international development. For 11 years, they have collaborated with national and international organizations in more than 20 countries on issues related to Digital Rights, LGBTQI+, HIV, and SRHR. Pablo works at R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales and is a member of the board of All Out. They are focused on developing new synergies and evidence-informed strategies to defend LGBTQI+ rights in the digital realm.

Agenonga Robert, Uganda

Agenonga Robert is a digital security consultant, trainer, auditor and a blogger based in Uganda. Agenonga is currently working with the Environmental Defenders of Ngetha Media Association for Peace as a senior researcher and consultant offering digital and physical security guidance, delivering technical support to local small and medium human rights & environmental groups in rural and peri-urban areas in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo & Kenya working on human rights, corporate accountability, press freedom and political mobilisation.

Robin, East Asia

Robin participates in open source communities in civic tech and Internet freedom in East Asia. Their work focuses on participatory co-creation and open collaboration.

Sunhee, South Korea

Sunhee is part of the Project Resilience team based in Seoul, Korea. Project Resilience supports North Korea human rights defenders to enhance their digital security capacity, build a strong community to collaborate better, and develop connections with global activists communities, including the Internet freedom community.

Kaia, Malaysia

Multidisciplinary skills, cross-practice knowledge and experience digital security trainer based in Southeast Asia, currently focusing on building digital security capacity for small scale human rights defenders organizations, including security auditing, emergency response and planning; developing organization’s security policy and risk reduction plans. Also working on human rights, environmental issues, government development policy, government transparency, trade agreement and digital rights in Asia-Pacific.

Tamara Grigoryeva, Azerbaijan

Tamara is a journalist from Azerbaijan who spent the last five years with Freedom House in Washington, D.C. focusing on providing emergency assistance to human rights defenders in East Europe and Eurasia. Aside from Azerbaijan, she is focused on Russia, Turkey and Central Asia, feminism and LGBTQI rights.

Yosr Jouini, Tunisia

Yosr Jouini is a software engineer from Tunis, Tunisia. Her work focuses on the ethical challenges of artificial intelligence. Currently, she serves as an Article 19 fellow in the algorithmic decision-making track, where she researches AI development in the Middle East and Africa. Previously, Yosr was a fellow of the African School on Internet Governance and the Middle East and Adjoining Countries School on Internet Governance.


Find more information at the  Community Builders Page