Abir Ghattas is a Lebanese activist, blogger, and digital security trainer. She is the communications and outreach director for Raseef22 and also the outreach director for Majal, a network of digital platforms centered on the two complementary goals of securing freedom of expression and access to information.
As you know, Access Now Grants aims to pursue our mission of defending and extending the digital rights of users, particularly those most at risk, through grantmaking to grassroots digital rights and human rights groups. Our guiding principles were developed with grassroots human rights groups in mind as we strive to be responsive, locally relevant, and able to take calculated risks. As much as possible, we prioritize support for people whose rights are particularly threatened, be it due to their gender, sexuality, activism, or the political context in which they live. At the moment, there is certainly far more need for funding for human rights and digital rights groups than we can meet. This is why our advisory board is so important. Like Ghattas, each member of the board comes to the role steeped in a deep understanding of the critical role that digital rights activism can play in the broader human rights movement. They help us stay attuned to the increasingly challenging environment for civil society around the world, and the lived experiences of communities most at risk, from LGBT rights activists to journalists.
In our future rounds of grants, we will draw on the expertise and contextual knowledge of Ghattas and her colleagues to help us to identify critical grassroots digital rights efforts and to make hard choices about how to best use our limited resources.
Stay tuned in the next few months for an announcement of new grantees supported through Access Now Grants.