2 min

Meet Our Writing Grantees

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Written by
Published on
May 19, 2022

A few weeks back, we invited community members to apply for our first writing grant. With this grant, we want to amplify the voices of women and non-binary people, who are often left out of important global conversations.

We received intriguing pitches from a total of 30 applicants, some sharing multiple ideas.

We are glad to announce that we selected ten grantees from different corners of the world. This group of academics, journalists, researchers and policy analysts will explore topics around data ethics, the intersection of mental health & tech, and how different regions are addressing misinformation and online gender-based violence.

This is the first Open Heroines’ writing grant, and we are excited at the possibility of funding more of you to contribute to our platform.

Without further ado, meet the grantees!

Portrait picture of a woman smiling.

Laura Carter is a PhD candidate in the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex (UK), where she researches the gendered impact of public sector data collection and sharing. She is interested in the intersection of gender, data, and open working.

Woman wearing a hijab smiling.

Olufunmilayo Obadofin is a passionate data journalist, researcher and human rights advocate with years of experience in managing development projects and advocacy campaigns across Africa. She is particularly passionate about children’s and women’s rights. Olufunmilayo is the founder of BTF Radio, the first child rights radio in Nigeria. She is also a fellow with Code for Africa’s Women in Data Science Initiative, WanaData. Her stories were recognised in 2020 as part of Pulitzer’s Africa’s Data Journalism Alliance Against COVID-19 project.

Woman with big glasses.

Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi is a freelance journalist from Nigeria who is enthusiastic about telling issues that affect everyday Nigerians’ lives. Her work has been supported by several journalism organisations across the globe such as Journalismfund.eu, Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, CiFAR, Berlin, Earth Journalism Network, Code for Africa, International Centre For Journalists, and many others, and has been published by media organisations including The Scotsman, AL Jazeera, DeSmog UK, Earth Journalism Network.

Elfredah is currently running two separate fellowships with Code for Africa, and International Center for Journalists.

Black and white portrait of a woman.

Jésica Edith Tapia Reyes has more than 15 years of experience in the analysis and evaluation of public policies. She worked for the Federal Government in Mexico at different institutions in areas such as foreign trade, transparency, science and technology, and urban development. Jésica specialises in the evaluation and design of public policies. Her professional practice is focused on Data Science and its application to social problems and public policy analysis, and is interested in the application of technology and data science from a feminist perspective.

Currently, in addition to coordinating “Big Data and Access to Information” project in Mexico, she collaborates in the development of several projects which apply analysis of public policy, the massive use of data, and the application of machine learning algorithms (text mining and natural language process). She is a fellow of the ”Skills for Women in Tech” program at the British Embassy in Mexico.

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Renata Aquino Ribeiro is an independent researcher, teacher and journalist from Brazil. She trains teachers on how to use technology in public schools at IK4T Institute, and is a news reporter at the technology portal, Tec-Masters. Renata holds a PhD in Education: Curriculum as a part of the research group in Technologies in Education at the Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP).

She was an advisor of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group in the Internet Governance Forum (MAG IGF) representing Civil Society (2016–2018) and was the Chair of Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) at ICANN in 2018, a fellow and a coach.

Portrait picture of a woman smiling.

Lalita Pulavarti is the Director at 3H Catalyst, where she sees an exciting opportunity to use her education, skills and experience as a trainer to design and implement upskilling programs in India. She is especially focused on opportunities for women students, whose innate potential can be unleashed through access to high quality education and employment initiatives.

Lalita has over twenty years of experience spanning social research, gender, grassroots development and, Accountability and Transparency in Governance. She has a PhD in Sociology from Northeastern University, Boston and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Boston University, USA. In previous professional capacities, she has been a lead trainer in capacity building and knowledge transfer workshops in India, USA, Egypt, Kenya and Malawi; and, has worked on numerous projects within India and overseas that were funded by international funders such as DFID (UK), the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.​

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Cecilia Maundu is a broadcast journalist, a digital rights researcher, a gender specialist and a digital security expert from Kenya. She works at the intersection of journalism, technology and human rights, with a focus on countering online abuse of women journalists while protecting freedom of expression. Cecilia is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Digital Dada, brings you conversations with people who have gone through online abuse and highlights effective measures available to counter this scourge against women journalists.

Woman looking behind in the nature.

Zainab Durrani is a lawyer by education and a Program Manager at the Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan)by profession where she manages the Data Privacy portfolio. Zainab is a strong advocate for a safe and feminist internet for all.

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Amanda Chenai Makombe is a storyteller, thought leader and project manager. She currently works as the Creative Strategist for Kumbekumbe Arts Trust. She describes herself as an avid reader, researcher and creative who is passionate about public health with a commitment to community development. She is one of Zimbabwe‘s young creative minds whose changing the narrative of academia and art. Amanda is a columnist of The Social Uproar, and is also a contributor for the Women‘s Republic and the Too Big To Ignore publication.

Portrait picture of an woman.

Juliana Carvalho is currently a PhD candidate in Transport Systems at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto in Portugal and holds an FCT doctoral scholarship. She has an M.A. in Human Settlements and Environment, a B.A. in International Relations, and specialisations in Strategic Project Management and Geographical Information Systems. She has worked on applied research projects in academic and intergovernmental settings, including the topics of metropolitan governance, rights-based public policy, participatory platforms and sustainable urban planning. Her current research is focused on the development of a collaborative design framework for adaptive policy roadmaps in sustainable urban mobilities.

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