19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Founders

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Gianluca Solera

Co-President

Gianluca Solera (1966) is an activist and a writer. He was a militant in the first Italian green movements and he studied regional and urban planning. He spent ten years as a political adviser to the Greens in the European Parliament, and eight years as coordinator of the civil society networks of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. His last book is Citizen Activism and Mediterranean Identity. Beyond Eurocentrism (2017, Palgrave Macmillan). He has a blog on society, politics and interculturalism in the Mediterranean, where he also writes about the new forms of resistance taking place in Italy and the Mediterranean. Since 2014, he has worked with the development & cooperation NGO COSPE, dealing with democracy and participation projects.

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Anna Lodeserto

Co-president

Anna Lodeserto is an experienced project manager, policy expert, transnational campaign coordinator, trainer and professional facilitator with a special interest and expertise in the social inclusion of migrants and marginalised groups (especially young people in NEET situations), multiculturalism, and transnational mobility.

Over the past ten years, she intensively worked on social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, global active citizenship, social justice for migrants and encouraging citizen involvement in grassroots organizations. Since the mid-2000’s, she has been progressing policy dialogue, social justice, cross-border cooperation and capacity development tools and programmes. In addition, she has served as an expert and processes leader for European networks, NGOs, local authorities, universities and international organisations. Anna’s area of work is at the intersection of education, media, and policy with a track record of progressive responsibility roles.

She has also attended, promoted and organised several formal and non-formal education activities as it relates to international youth work, project management, citizenship education and Euro-Mediterranean dialogue. She has leadership experience in a number of transnational organisations and has academic background and professional experience of education programmes and dialogue initiatives between European universities and their partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

She earned a Master’s Degree in “Peacekeeping and Security Studies”, as well as Bachelor’s Degree in “International Relations and Diplomacy” with a specialisation in “Development Politics”. She also studied International Political Economy, Development Cooperation and Project Management at the University of Cantabria, Spain. She continuously analyses, reports and creates articles on citizenship participation tools at the European level, as well as topics about migration policies and media pluralism. In doing so, she is led by a strong commitment to shed light on overlooked issues, people and events in the underserved communities that are not adequately represented in mainstream media.

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Ibrahim Heggi

Treasurer

Graduated in Mechanical Engineering in Egypt at the "Banha Higher Institute of Technology" in Cairo, Ibrahim combines profound technical skills with extensive knowledge and professional and personal experience in the humanities and socio-economic fields. After having had to leave his country of origin at a young age, he has rebuilt his professional career on the European continent, as well as his commitment and engagement in defending human rights, especially of young people in contemporary societies in the Middle East area. In the last decade Ibrahim has therefore collaborated with the main international organizations active in the defense and promotion of human rights in the world, in particular as a fixer for the Arabic-language mass media in Italy and in other European countries, in addition to personally taking care of insights related to the Mediterranean area.
Ibrahim has been collaborated for three years on the organization and planning of the socio-cultural event "SABIRFEST - Culture and Mediterranean Citizenship" and currently works as a social educator supporting minors in distress with the Arca Onlus Foundation in Milan.

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Maria Lucia Parisi

Secretary

Maria Lucia Parisi, born in Reggio, studied in Naples, at the 'Orientale' University, focusing on cooperation in human development. In a path of continuing education, she deepened the topic at the ISPI in Milan and followed a series of courses related to civil society development, project design and migration affairs. She took her first steps in the world of cooperation with Arcs, an NGO of the Arci Network, following a plurality of cooperation projects in Northern Lebanon and promoting awareness raising in the Calabrian territory. Early 2000s, she became the head of the International Cooperation sector of Arci - Reggio Calabria Territorial Committee. She has developed numerous social promotion projects in the field of legality and migration, for which she has worked as a consultant.

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Lisa Iliana Ariemma

Lisa Ariemma is a journalist, researcher, educator and activist. She particularly focuses on issues linked to participatory citizenship, active democracy and migration. She has created and taught courses on intercultural dialogue and multiculturalism and has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, newspapers, on-line journals and blogs. She has taken part in various conferences, meetings and cultural festivals in Europe, North America and the Middle East as an activist and independent researcher. She has participated in SabirFest and is a co-founder of the Maydan Association. She lives in Meana di Susa, Italy and Toronto, Canada but considers herself a citizen of the world.

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Francesca Romana Piro

Francesca R. Piro (1969) is a pathologist M.D. and cultural promoter. She has been in public health for over 20 years, dividing her time between her career and her interests and commitments in the fields of culture, the environment and civil rights. She is co-founder of Progetto Mediterranea, a nautical, cultural and scientific expedition in the Mediterranean Sea, with which she sails for long periods during the year, searching for Mediterranean thought and identity. From 2015 she has also founded La Linea d'Ombra.Roma, an independent cultural space, a meeting place and a forum to share ideas between writers, artists and intellectuals.

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Debora Del Pistoia

Debora Del Pistoia is an activist, journalist and researcher and has promoted human rights in the Mediterranean for many years. She is the co-author of “Rivoluzioni Violates. Cinque anni dopo: attivismo e diritti umani in Medio Oriente e Nord Africa” and has published numerous articles on migration, gender issues and freedom of expression and activism in North Africa where she has lived since 2011. She is a co-promoter of Sabir Fest and co-founder of the Maydan Association on Mediterranean citizenship. She is responsible for campaigns in Algeria, Morocco and the Western Sahara in the regional office of Amnesty International in Tunis.

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Lidia Lo Schiavo

Lidia Lo Schiavo is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Messina where she teaches sociology and sociology of globalisation. Her research interests revolve around social and political theory, critical theory, democratic theory, political sociology, migration studies and European Studies in the Mediterranean area. She is a member of academic associations such as AIS (Associazione Italiana di Sociologia), IPSA (International Political Science Association), ESA (European Sociological Association) and REGIMEN (Réseau d'Etudes sur la Globalisation et la Gouvernance Internationale et les Mutations de l'Etat et des Nations, UC Louvain), and the author of several books and articles. Among her recent publications are: Ontologia critica del presente globale (Mimesis 2014)  and Post-democracy and Neoliberal Hegemony (Lambert Academic Publishing 2017).

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Giovanni Serra

Giovanni Serra is responsible for various Italian third sector organizations, with managerial, executive, technical and entrepreneurial roles, at a national and local level. He is mainly concerned with the promotion of volunteering, management of social enterprises, job placement of socially disadvantaged people and training of managers. He promoted international youth exchanges and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Italian Network for Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue for five years.