Monthly Archives: September 2021

Who are White Christian Nationalists?


Yale Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies Philip Gorski sheds insight on white Christian nationalism, as well as the changing religious demographics in America. You can read Professor Gorski’s latest article here:

2021 World Fellow Udo Jude Ilo

Udo Jude Ilo works to expand the space for social innovation and champions the use of entertainment as a tool for shaping narratives, supporting new voices, and engaging with the youth population in Africa. As the Nigerian representative of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, his focus has been about creativity and finding new tools for democracy promotion. Udo supports civic mobilization and media campaigns on political participation, natural resources management, and rule of law. By building partnerships with local and regional groups that promote inclusive democratic governance, Udo helps advocate for an empowered citizenry that holds political institutions accountable.

For nearly two decades Udo has worked to support a framework of democratic accountability that allows for the primacy of citizens voices through his professional roles and writings as a social commentator. He has published several articles and op-eds that span critical issues of governance affecting Africa.

2021 World Fellow Korto Reeves

Korto Reeves is currently the global Head of Women’s Rights in ActionAid International, a social justice federation in 43 countries. Over the last 13 years, she has worked with the organization in several positions, including Country Director in Liberia from 2010 to 2016. She has 20 years of professional experience working across Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and with USAID and UNDP.

She is an African feminist and strategic civil society leader in Liberia and on the continent. A significant contributor to shaping feminist discourse on multiple and intersecting issues in the region, she is a member of the Urgent Action Fund-Africa and Sustainable Development Institute boards. As a survivor of the Liberian 14-year civil war, she uses her creative writing and storytelling experience to call for visibility on social justice issues and promote healing. She recently published a book of poetry titled Inappropriate Medley: Stories of the Patriarchy, Pleasure, and Redemption. Her academic research on social change in Liberia influences movement-building within women’s rights and other movements. She is a Co-Founder of the Liberia Feminist Forum.

2021 World Fellow Ömür Kula Çapan

Ömür Kula Çapan is a well-known creative strategist and experience designer in Turkey who successfully managed pioneering companies like Tribal WW and R/GA Istanbul, leading the digital transformation of Turkey’s biggest brands and companies, and helped build Turkey’s first and most successful digital-only bank, Enpara. She is also a sought-after keynote speaker, columnist, and a guest lecturer for many universities.

Alongside her successful career in the business world, her true passion lies in channeling this creativity for the transformation of societies for a better world. She has participated in the foundation of the Civic Involvement Projects of Sabancı University, and helped to take the model nation-wide with the Open Institute’s funding to other universities. She designed award-winning alternative curriculums for refugee, Kurdish, and at-risk children. Her belief and strong drive for educational reform and change that is based on grass-roots activation has given her a seat at the most prestigious board of the Educational Reform Initiative. Her idealistic views and hard work have also won her the chair for being the youngest president of the Advertising Foundation, whose focus is to nurture talent for the industry.

2021 World Fellow Rayhan Asat

Rayhan Asat is an Uyghur human rights attorney. A graduate of Harvard Law School and former anti-corruption attorney at a major U.S. law firm, Rayhan specializes in international human rights law and compliance with best business practices. Her legal and policy work centers around enforcing international human rights norms, civil liberties, curtailing forced labor, and promoting corporate accountability. She advised the World Bank and OECD to design Human-Centered Business Integrity Principles. She works with civil society, diplomats, lawmakers, and businesses to address human rights concerns, especially the atrocities in Xinjiang including her own brother Ekpar Asat’s enforced disappearance.

She has been featured in various media outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, Foreign Policy, CNN, Deutsche Welle and Al-Jazeera among others. She is a sought-after speaker and has testified before the Canadian Parliament and will present at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in June 2021. Rayhan’s writing has also been published in many legal journals, and her opinions have appeared in Foreign Policy, NBC News, The Hill Magazine, and other prominent publications. She is a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights and is also the founder and president of the American Turkic International Lawyers Association.

2021 World Fellow Abdi Ismail

Abdi Ismail has been working in the humanitarian field for 12 years in various management capacity with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Currently, he is the Head of Mission for ICRC in Aden, Yemen, where he leads the protection and humanitarian assistance response in Southern Yemen and is in charge of managing the security of ICRC staff, assets, and operations in a very volatile security environment.

Abdi’s interests are understanding current conflicts and their broader security implications for the greater Middle East and Horn of Africa. He has been invited to share his knowledge and experience of Yemen at the think tank ISPI, the Centre for Public Leadership, Harvard School of Public Health, and at the United Nations Security Council Experts on Yemen.

Remembering the Past, Remembering 9/11

Sterling Professor of History David Blight, who served as an advisor to the team of curators at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and President Peter Salovey discuss commemorating tremendous loss, the purpose of memorialization, and teaching complex history.

Wellness, Community & the Scientific Workforce with Amy Newman and Luigi Ferrucci

Conversations about science and society have somehow become more divisive as of late, even as we continue to battle a global pandemic. But what about the scientists from various disciplines who’ve continued in their training, research endeavors and leadership in the midst of everything we’ve endured as a society? This week, two scientific leaders from the National Institutes of Health join for a refreshing conversation about wellness, work-life balance, community and thriving amongst our scientific trainees, researchers, staff, administrators and leaders. Come hear Dr. Amy Newman, Scientific Director at NIDA, and Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, Scientific Director at NIA, share about flexibility in the midst of challenges, support amongst our scientific teams as we deal with stress, ongoing investments in diversity and inclusion, and the necessity of improving relationships and trust between research communities and the general public.