Young Voices is thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity for pro-liberty writers in developing countries: the Agora Fellowship. Five writers under 30 from around the world will be selected to receive comprehensive training from Young Voices on the fundamentals of advocacy and mentorship from professionals in the liberty movement over the course of four months. We hope to empower one-man think tanks in countries where the message of liberty needs to be desperately heard.
In Ancient Greece, the agora was an open space used for both markets and public assemblies. It was a vibrating center for society, where people purchased goods and discussed the important topics of the day. Indeed, the twin function of the agora explain the roots of two verbs in modern Greek: ἀγοράζω, agorázō, meaning “I shop,” and ἀγορεύω, agoreúō, meaning “I speak in public.”
At Young Voices, we seek to invest in great communicators that similarly stand at the intersection of commerce and discourse, advocating for free markets as a means of achieving prosperity and fulfillment. Such a message is desperately needed in developing countries, where decades of failed policies from both internal and external actors have only perpetuated poverty.
With the Agora Fellowship, five writers under 30 from around the world will be paired with a professional mentor in the liberty movement and receive comprehensive training from Young Voices on op-ed writing, broadcast interviews, social media, podcasting, and much more. Each training will be followed with an assignment for fellows to flex their advocacy skills in actions.
Meet the Fellows
Oluwasegun Ajetunmobi is a Master’s student of Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a Local Coordinator at African Student for Liberty. Oluwasegun is passionate about public policy, human rights protection, gender, migration and border discourses.
Mauricio Bento is a graduate of the University of Brasilia currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Mauricio has experience with public policy and economics in Brasilia and Washington, DC. He helped to found SFL Brazil and Novo, the country’s first classical liberal party.
Olanrewaju Elufisan is a writer, filmmaker, trained broadcast journalist, and the co-founder of Ominira TV. He graduated from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta where he studied Plant Science and volunteered for Students for Liberty. Olanrewaju is committed to inspiring change in Africa and in Nigeria by influencing public policies through research and advocacy.
Deborah Bizarria is a Brazilian economics student and Mentorship Associate at Students For Liberty. She also leads Ladies of Liberty Alliance (LOLA) chapter in Pernambuco and maintains a blog where she regularly writes, Marginal Futility. She is passionate about politics, society, gender issues, and behavioral economics.
Abdulsamod Balogun is an African Liberty Writing Fellow, National Coordinator at Student for Liberty Gambia, and Communications Officer at Social Good Lagos. He is excited about discussions in leadership and economic freedom.
Tentative Fellowship Syllabus & Schedule
- APRIL 1 – 26: Fellows responsible for watching Webinar #1 on the topic of economic freedom and the most effective arguments for it as a means of economic development. An outside think tank expert is invited to deliver the lecture. Fellows are assigned task to think of particular policy reforms in their country they’d like to advocate for and specific goals for the end of the program. They are encouraged to work on these goals with their mentor.
- APRIL 26: Assignment #1 due. Fellows turn in goals to staff, engage in one-on-one discussions about how to achieve them.
- MAY 1 – 31: Fellows responsible for watching Webinar #2 on op-ed editing and pitching. Fellows are assigned the task of writing op-ed on economic freedom.
- MAY 31: Assignment #2 due. Fellows turn in op-ed for editing to staff for editing and feedback.
- JUNE 3 – 28: Fellows responsible for watching Webinar #3 held on TV/radio/podcasts. Fellows assigned task of compiling list of potential print outlets for publication of their op-eds and broadcast outlets who would have them on for an interview.
- JUNE 28: Assignment #3 due. Fellows turn in list for discussion with staff. Fellows assigned task of pitching their op-ed for publication and securing a TV/radio interview.
- JULY 26: Assignment #4 due. All op-eds and broadcast interview hits should be published and aired. Program close. One-on-one feedback call given to each fellow, mentor.