The Diversity & Inclusion Group for Networking and Action (DIGNA) brings together change-makers and thought leaders from all around the world, passionate about strengthening an inclusive and diverse civil society. This working group seeks to understand, conceptualise and identify innovative practices on what diversity and inclusion (D&I) can look like within different thematic areas and operating models.

Meet the 2020 - 2021 Advisory Group

Carey Rutherford

I am an independent researcher based in Calgary, Canada, and I have most recently been developing a layman’s level presentation regarding the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to reduce universal “tergiversation’ (A word they use which is an example of why I feel the need to become involved). I call myself an independent researcher because, though I have done presentations on the writing and interviewing process, (https://www.y-outube.com/watch?v=G1Otx6tEJ3U&t=3s ) virtual presentations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuRxZnwekBc ) at international conferences, (https://cgscholar.com/cg_event/events/E19/proposal/38170/propos-al_details ), and have been academically published, (https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/indigenous-whiteness ) I am not attached to any educational or research institutions.

I have started a company named A Talking Game, to present information on diversity and inclusion topics and to facilitate mediation, and in this general field believe that helping disseminate interculturally sensitizing information, or other work in a communicative capacity, might im-prove Canadians’ (and others) ability to make some important decisions about our world and their future. I am legally blind, and include the sensitivity this has facilitated in the learning and experience that fuels my passions.

Karin Watson

Karin Watson is a design student from Santiago de Chile. She is a feminist, climate and human rights activist. She began her activism at the age of 12 and since then has been involved in different projects to promote the political participation of young people.

In 2015 she joined Amnesty International Chile where she works as a volunteer in Human Rights Education. Between 2018 and June 2020 she was a member, representing Latin America, of Amnesty's Global Youth Collective, a team of Amnesty International youth leaders (under 25 years old) and Amnesty staff with a youth brief from across the global movement who are champions for youth engagement and participation, role in which she also worked on issues related to climate justice and mental health of activists.

In addition, she is one of the founders of the Let It Be Know project about abortion in Chile, is part of Tremendas platform that features young women working on social impact causes, and a member of the team behind the #EscazúNow Campaign in Chile working to promote the sign of the Escazú Agreement. This year, she co-founded the Re-Earth Initiative, youth-led organization that aims to make information about the climate crisis accessible for all and create alliances within climate and social justice organizations. Karin was recently selected to be part of the Women Deliver’s Young Leaders Program 2020.

Camila Silva

I am Camila Silva, brazilian, 31 years old, from Rio de Janeiro, living in São Paulo.

I am a black journalist, researcher, producer and filmmaker specialist in diversity and inclusion with a postgraduate degree in International Relations, Humanitarian Aid and Development from PUC-RJ.

Currently, I coordinate the Nexo Jornal's Diversity Program, I am the director of diversity at the international NGO Chicas Poderosas, commentator on the follow podcasts: "Primeira Pele Preta", talking about racism in sports, and diverse topics on original series from HBO Brasil as a freelancer. 

I am also the head of Wokemi Produções, where I produce black people content and diverse and inclusive education.

As a volunteer, I am part of "Potências Negras", a black group , where We get in touch with many people around Brazil to debate cases and solutions to racism in our country. 

I worked for eight years at GloboNews and Rede Globo as a reporter. 

As an independent filmmaker, I directed the documentaries “Syhalala -The Tap” and “Voy Sola”, where, respective I researched deeply in the prejudice and violence against womens who travel by themselves , and the hard problem of tap water in the townships around Cape Town, South Africa.

Bhekumusa Moyo

Bhekumusa Moyo is a staunch Social-Pan-Africanist youth leader from Zambia/Zimbabwe.

Moyo is currently the Regional Creative Director for Word Smash Poetry Movement. Moyo is former Training Officer at Global Platform Zambia, a regional training hub for empowerment and activism covering the SADC Region.

Moyo’s pre-occupation was the training on the familiarization and quest for the signing, ratification and domestication of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by African heads of States covering Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. Bhekumusa has over 10 years’ experience in civic, human rights activism and artivism. Bhekumusa has worked as Programs Manager at National Youth Development Trust, Youth Inspirator in Pakistan and World Vison International.

Moyo is a revered poet and protest artist who has used art to interrogate ills happening in Africa. Moyo is a published poet for his political collection titled: The gourd of dishonor (2012), 1983-Years Before and After (Theatre 2011), Before the next election (Play 2012) and Emnyameni (Ndebele Poetry Collection 2013). Bhekumusa loves sitting in a corner of bar during weekends watching soccer as discussions on African Politics and how youths should safeguard the present for a better tomorrow emerge.

Moyo holds a Bachelors in Media and Communication, a certificate in Election Management and a Masters in Project Management. All said, Bhekumusa identifies as a villager and has a passion for farming.

Saro Imran

Saro is a Young Transgender Activist and Entrepreneur for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of young people specially from marginalized communities. She has been working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Gender Equality working with various international organizations like IYAFP - International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, Women Deliver, 120 under 40, Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN), FP2020, Youth Lead, Accountability Lab, Global Fund for Children etc.

She has taken part in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process by contributing to reports submission on SRHR issues faced by young people in Pakistan as well as the Transgender issues in Pakistan.

She has also worked on different research projects aimed at understanding and highlighting the issues of marginalized communities, e.g. Antecedents of joining the transgender community and reciprocal perceptions; Feminist representation in Pakistani cinema; Understanding eunuchs through Pakistani television. Apart from that I have also worked with UK AID & UNICEF for advocacy based research like Choice & Voice; People's perspective about Health Services in Pakistan and Adolescents Development in South Asia respectively.

She has developed community-based organization in her region, which envisions a society where all Transgender persons can live with dignity, self-respect, enjoying equal social justice and wellbeing.

Belén Giaquinta

Belén is a feminist from Argentina. Currently, she is the Senior Grant Manager at Restless Development and for the last few years has been based in London, UK. Belén has a Masters in International Development, and during her studies she focused on Gender and Sexuality and Children and Youth Rights.

Belén has experience supporting initiatives aimed to improve the effectiveness of civil society , mainly through research, innovation and capacity strengthening. She is passionate about CSO accountability, inclusion and youth leadership - in particular the intersection of all three! 

Karen Phillip

Karen Philip is a regional development consultant who is also a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds both a BSc. Social Work (Special) and a Masters in Gender and Development Studies. 

From 2004, she has worked both in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. Among the positions she held is a team member at the Caribbean Policy Development Centre since 2015. In this portfolio, she manages regional projects which work with vulnerable groups, capacity building and governance for non-governmental organisations.

Ms Philip has the responsibility of building the institutional, operational and technical capacity of Caribbean NGOs. Ms. Philip was a key player in the coordination of development and execution of the NGO Professional Management Certificate Course and NGO Leadership Training Workshops.

Ms. Philip is also responsible for designing the gender portfolio for CPDC, ensuring gender mainstreaming. Ms. Philip has worked with several donors such as the European Union, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women and WMW Jamaica.

Islam El-Ghazouly

Islam El-Ghazouly has been an active agitator for civic participation since volunteering as a 14-year-old to increase voter registration in his home country, Egypt.

 As an Egyptian, Islam has witnessed and experienced first-hand how lack of opportunities for marginalized communities and consequent mounting frustration can result in a dangerous spiral of violence.  

Islam has more than 10 years’ experience addressing systemic and structural social inequalities through humanitarian and development projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

He is a passionate advocate for equitable access to rights and services. In 2018, he founded Laissez-Passer (LP); a rights-based organisation with a mandate to navigate human in-country and cross-border mobility and access. LP primarily focuses on the global south, where communities are disproportionately affected by mobility and migration barriers. Laissez-Passer has been a member organisation in CIVICUS since 2019.  

Islam is currently based in Iraq focusing on issues of stabilisation as the country transitions from conflict to recovery. In his appointment to DIGNA as an advisory group member, Islam hopes to tackle inequalities in recruitment policies and practices by international NGOs in the humanitarian and development spheres.

Lily Rosengard

Lily Rosengard is a dedicated activist fighting against injustice, with a specific focus on advocating for the rights of girls, women and marginalised communities across the globe. 

Lily currently works at Plan International, a global NGO working to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. At Plan, Lily supports the development of global multilateral UN partnerships, civil society partnerships, and youth-led partnerships all of which are gender-transformative and girl-focused. Lily is particularly interested in the intersections and overlaps between feminist and anti-racist activism, youth, gender, race, mental health, as well as climate justice and animal rights. Alongside work, Lily is currently pursuing a part-time Master’s degree at UCL in London in Political Science: Human Rights focused on gender equality and refugee rights. In 2017, Lily graduated from the University of Cambridge with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

In her spare time, Lily works on various side-projects including founding the CreateToDonate Collective set up in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests to bring together crafty individuals across the globe for craftivist efforts: using arts and crafts as a tool for activism where 100% of the profits go directly to the organisations doing the work on the ground. Lily also founded and runs regular queer, feminist art empowerment sessions in an art studio in South London, and co-founded and runs ClimbingQTs UK, an LGBTQ+ queer rock climbing group. Lily enjoys writing, reading and connecting with like-minded, open-minded people who are passionate about taking the steps necessary to make a positive impact on this world.
Chepkwemoi Kimtai

Chepkwemoi Kimtai is a seasoned storyteller, feminist thinker and social justice advocate who self-identified creation, connection and expression as her personal tools for liberation from the patriarchal, heteronormative and capitalism systems of oppression within which she radically exists in and seeks to challenge.

She is currently working at the intersection of gender and sexuality as an Assistant: Partnerships and Communication for UHAI-The East African Sexual and Health Rights Initiative, an activist Fund resourcing Sexual and Gender Minorities and Sex Worker Movements in Eastern Africa.

Chepkwemoi seeks to make observation, examine, question and hold accountable power dynamics that determine and drive equality, diversity and inclusion. She is also a Young African Leadership Initiative- YALI fellow and a playful multidisciplinary artist who explores different forms of expression.
Abdul Mufeez Shaheed

Abdul is a 28 year old youth activist from Fiji. He is currently with the UN Millennium Group of Children and Youth as the Pacific SDG16 representative. He was the former National Director of AIESEC in Fiji and has led student unions in Fiji. A graduate of Public Health, he is currently pursuing his Postgraduate in Social Policy and Administration. He has represented Fiji and the Pacific on youth issues on various Boards and committees regionally and globally. He was the former Chair of the National Youth Advisory Board to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Fiji. He has also been part of CIVICUS Innovation for Change Pacific Hub. His interest lies in political activism, human rights and SRHR for marginalized communities.

Vandita Morarka

Vandita is a young queer activist, social entrepreneur, lawyer, and a rights based policy consultant, strategist and facilitator. She is the Founder and CEO of One Future Collective and leads it's knowledge, communities and consulting verticals, along with guiding its vision and growth. She has worked in the development sector for over 8 years and her work has impacted the lives of more than 10,000,000 people.

Justin Francis Bionat

At present Justin works as the Executive Director of Youth Voices Count, the only regional network for young LGBTIQ+ persons in the Asia-Pacific Regional working on human rights and sexual health. He has other international and national engagements serving as Youth Action Team (YAT) member and Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group member of CIVICUS, an international organization working on civic space initiatives. He also serves as a Youth Council Member of the Global Fund, an international financing and partnership organization that aims to "attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and a Board Member of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT) Committee. He holds an M.A. in Human Rights and Democratisation from the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies of Mahidol University, Thailand.

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