The Department of International Studies hosted a webinar “Examining Social Movement’s Engagement with Other Sectors” last February 23, 2021. Mr. Joel Barredo, the Program Director of SHAPE-SEA (Bangkok), and Ms. Rozana Isa, the Executive Director of Sisters in Islam (Malaysia) served as guest speakers.
Mr. Barredo highlighted the role of SHAPE-SEA as a frame of advocacy to make a culture of peace and human rights more tangible and accessible in the region through education. SHAPE-SEA supports academic activism primarily through funding research, education, academic partnerships and public advocacy, and publications.
Ms. Isa, on the other hand, gave an overview of Sisters in Islam as an organization that promoted women’s rights in the context of Islam. The organization seeks to empower women to be advocates of change through research and support for the advocacy to reform laws, policies, and practices, as well as conducting dialogue and engagement with key stakeholders and supporters.
The conversation with the guest speakers raised the need for the protection of activists in the Southeast Asia region as they deal with other actors like government and police authorities, or the influence of funders in shaping the direction of social movement. They also stressed the importance of maximizing the different social media platforms to promote the importance of human rights in the region. The personal sharing between guest speakers and the students gave additional insights, thus adding depth to the conversation.
This webinar was organized by Ms. Lorna Q. Israel’s graduate class on Social Movements an Social Change via Google Classroom. -- By Danielle Rose Mañala