When we talk about participation in the civic space, we really have to ask ourselves, “who’s invited to participate, and does that mean participation for all?” says Amira El-Sayed, Principal on global Civic Empowerment grants and investments at Luminate.
“When we stand up or stand-in for participation, we also have to protect the freedom NOT to participate. When a group of people oppose a system or oppose a process, that’s as legitimate and important as participating,” she says.
At Luminate, the former Tahrir Square activist works with organizations to remove the barriers for people to fully and actively participate in society and support them with funding and strategic guidance.
In this interview, she talks of her career-long mission to making institutions more accountable at a more systemic level, the challenge of equitable and inclusive participation in the civic space, and the hope of sustainable political reform from social movements across the world.