Thursday, June 19

Titia Loenen has studied history and law at Leiden University. She has been as a professor of legal women studies, gender and law, and theory of law. Her current research focuses on human rights, equality issues, and European, international and national non- discrimination law. She places equality issues in an international and legally comparative perspective, mostly with regard to cultural, religious and gender diversity. In recent years she has developed a wide range of courses on gender, equality, human rights and pluralism. Umar Ikram is a Senior Fellow who participated in the New York Humanity in Action Summer program in 2009. He is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the department of Public Health at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the social factors of ethnic health disparities. During his studies, he founded a medical students’ association extensive on public health. He has been a regular guest speaker on issues concerning integration and ethnic minorities. Since 2010 Umar also organizes an eye project for villagers in Pakistan. As part of his HIA action plan, he co-founded a homework support network for mainly migrant children and wrote a report on the political engagement of Muslims in the Netherlands

Swaan van Iterson is a senior fellow from the Amsterdam 2010 program that studied social and political sciences at the University of Amsterdam. In her studies, she focused on ethnic tensions, populism, nationalism and extremism. Being half-Hungarian herself, she wrote her thesis on students in Hungary identifying with the far-right Jobbik party, and how this identification relates to different activities within a broader subculture. A year later, she went back to Hungary to make a documentary on this topic for her action plan. Currently, Swaan works on various projects about human rights and the far right as a freelancer and regularly writes for different media.

Alexandra van Dijk is former president of The Red Thread, a Dutch national Knowledge and Information Centre for Sexwork(ers). Currently van Dijk owns Buro Brycx, where she consults different parties on sexwork related issues such as policy development, consultation of sexworkers and cultural mediation. Buro Brycx continues to reach out to oppressed workers in the field and contributes to improved working as well as social conditions for sexworkers.

Marjan Wijers works as independent researcher, consultant and trainer on human rights, human trafficking, sex workers rights and women1s rights. She is co-founder of Rights4Change, a cooperative of gender and human rights experts specialized in the development and application of human rights impact assessment tools. She has wide experience in providing assistance and support to victims of trafficking, as well as in policy development, lobby and advocacy. Wijers was actively involved in the NGO lobby around the UN Trafficking Protocol as part of the Human Rights Caucus, a coalition of anti-trafficking, human rights and sex workers rights organizations. She also was one of the organizers of the first European sex workers conference in Brussels in 2005. From 2003-2007 she was President of the Expert Group on Trafficking in Human Beings, established by the European Commission. Over the past years she published various articles on trafficking, sex work and human rights. She studied social sciences and law and specialized in human rights law.

Spencer Heijnen is a Senior Fellow who interned at the European Parliament after the summer program. In 2011 he set up the solidarity campaign ‘Geert Spreekt Niet Voor Mij’ (Geert Does Not Speak For Me). The campaign was committed to the Dutch who did not feel represented by Geert Wilders, who was considered a very dominant political figure at the time. Having studied at places like Oxford and UC Berkeley, he feels positive psychology (Science of Happiness) is an important concept. Heijnen seeks to tailor this personal interest into a professional career by promoting positive psychology in business environments. He started this project while part of the Dutch National Think Tank working on resilience building. Currently he is becoming a well-being consultant at The Energy Strategy. The Energy Strategy is concerned with creating happier and more meaningful workplaces for companies like Google and McKinsey.

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