Five women wait to write their name on a piece of white paper taped to the wall while one woman writes her name; on the paper, written in Arabic are issues that participants determined their community must address, including “Violence Against Women” and “Media Influence on Public Opinion,” with participants’ names written underneath the topic they wished to discuss in small breakout groups. Soliya Summit in Alexandria, Egypt in 2015.

Soliya Summit in Alexandria, Egypt, 2015

Engagement Programs

Our Engagement programs support our most active facilitators and alumni to directly apply their skills to tackle issues in their local communities. They bring together diverse stakeholders for Public Squares, a series of in-person group dialogues centered on one pressing local challenge. The results and recommendations generated from these dialogues are amplified out to broader communities and up to relevant leaders.

 

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Public Squares

Public Squares are facilitated online and in-person small-group dialogues in which participants across cultural, geographic, religious, and political divides explore diverse perspectives and discuss important and divisive issues.

Public Squares are led by Soliya Conveners who work with local organizations to identify issues of popular concern and then gather research and media, with support from leading experts and community members, to inform public discussions about the issues. In addition to preparing and hosting these dialogues, Conveners support other communication among participants through blog postings, tweets, and other social media activities.

 

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Amplification

Central to Soliya’s engagement work are our amplification efforts to improve the diversity of perspectives represented in public discourse. Soliya Fellows lead these efforts, targeting policymakers and thought leaders through briefings and recommendations, and engaging the population at-large through mainstream and social media.

Ultimately, we believe that the representation of voices across identity lines will strengthen civil discourse and compel the public and policymakers alike to be inclusive when making decisions that impact their communities and constituencies.

 

Public Squares in Egypt