Romani organizer from North Macedonia discusses democracy with Barack Obama at Copenhagen Democracy Summit
Romani organizer Selvije Mustafi of North Macedonia participated in a panel on "Democratic Digital Organization" moderated by former US President Barack Obama during the Copenhagen Democracy Summit. The Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2017 by former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, organized the event.
The summit took place on 9-10 June and Obama gave a speech there on the second day before moderating the panel. Mustafi is one of the European leaders working with the Obama Foundation and is a grassroots organizer of Avaja, the largest movement of Romani people organized in North Macedonia.
Mustafi recently became president of the Romano Avazi organization, which aims to mobilize the community of Romani people to participate in decision-making at local, regional and national level in North Macedonia. She and Romani analyst Deniz Selmani, another leader from North Macedonia working with the Obama Foundation, then participated in an interactive workshop with Obama on 11 June addressing the challenges they face regionally and sharing their experiences of progress in the development of democracies in their societies.
Selmani is one of the founders of the Institute for Policy Research and Analysis-Romalitiko, where he leads the democracy program locally, and is a co-founder of the Avaja movement in North Macedonia. The Copenhagen meeting was the first opportunity for those participating in the Obama Leaders 2020 and 2022 programs to gather in person since the pandemic.
The Obama Foundation began its European program in 2020. The Leaders Program is designed to connect new leaders from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe to make positive changes in their communities and the world.
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