What is the youth advisory board?
The youth board is a specially selected group of young people aged 16-25 who advise and inform Index on Censorship’s work, support our ambition to fight for free expression around the world and ensure our engagement with issues with tomorrow’s leaders. The current members are sitting from January to June 2020.
Why does Index have a youth board?
Index on Censorship is committed to fighting censorship not only now, but also in future generations, and we want to ensure that the realities and challenges experienced by young people in today’s world are properly reflected in our work.
Index is also aware that there are many who would like to commit some or all of their professional lives to fight for human rights and the youth board is our way of supporting the broadest range of young people to develop their voice, find paths to freely expressing it and potential future employment in the human rights, media, and arts sectors.
The current board is sitting from July to December 2020.
Aliyah Kaitlyn Orr (pen name A.K. Nephtali) is a college student in Britain. Orr has been inspired by the power of words ever since a novel helped them realise their gender-neutral identity. Orr writes inclusive fiction that aims to empower LGBTQ+ people around the world. One of their short stories will be published in a digital anthology by the end of 2020.
Subhan Hasanli is a 25 year old lawyer, who works with local and international human rights organisations in Azerbaijan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Nakhichevan State University. His goal is to promote the rule of law and human rights, and he hopes to achieve changes in these fields. Hasanli’s hobbies include catching fish, playing chess and reading books about science, politics, and philosophy. His favourite book is Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger.
Carmen Ferri is a digital rights activist based in Canada. She obtained an undergraduate degree in cultural studies and sociology at Maastricht University, Netherlands, and a master’s degree from the University of Amsterdam in new media and digital culture. During her studies, she worked on projects related to disinformation, hate speech and subcultural expression on digital platforms. Ferri has completed two internships with the Association for Progressive Communications. She worked as a policy analyst intern researching counter-hate speech movements in Asia, then as a communications research intern where she implemented a project examining actors and discourses within digital rights spaces on social media.
Sneha Sharma graduated from the Asian College of Journalism with a postgraduate diploma in journalism (new media) and is now a journalist for The Times of India. She previously worked as a reporter for the International Business Times. Sharma is concerned about the issues around press freedom in her country. She is an advocate for open discourse in the hope that it will lead to solutions. Sharma has an avid interest in governance, ecology, environment and urban planning.
Pablo Aguera is a research fellow for Research ICT Africa working on digital rights, data justice and internet access and use. Aguera has produced creative multimedia projects and worked with social enterprises and youth movements across multiple countries. He holds a BSc in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Warwick, and is currently completing a dual master’s degree in global media and communications at the London School of Economics and the University of Cape Town.
Siphesihle Fali is in her final year studying English literature & language, and media and writing at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Fali is passionate about expanding her knowledge on societal constructs and the definitions of freedom. She aspires to create real conversations around the right to freedom of expression for the most censored and vulnerable communities, to safeguard and protect their rights. Fali’s interests lie mostly with the rights of women and children, and she intends on dedicating her career to being a voice for those who are denied one.
Claes Kirkeby Theilgaard works as the editor-in-chief of the Danish online newspaper 180Grader. He is set to begin his studies in business and communications at the Copenhagen Business School. Theilgaard has worked in journalism and in various political organisations with the aim of furthering democracy and freedom, which has resulted in violent threats and other forms of intimidation. These experiences have made him more motivated to fight for the cause of free speech. Theilgaard is currently working to launch a campaign against “hate speech” laws in Denmark, as well as an organisation to fight censorship and work for free speech both in Denmark and abroad.
Cecily Donovan graduated from Boston University with degrees in International Relations and Political Science in 2019. She currently lives in New York City working in economic development for Invest Northern Ireland, a UK government agency. She has a background in state government, French language and politics, and European affairs. Donovan is passionate about women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact of authoritarianism on freedom of expression globally.