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Last month, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) hosted the online workshop “Uyghur Youth Mobilization” to provide the next generation of activists with the skills necessary to strengthen their advocacy. Driven by HRF’s dedication to amplifying Uyghur voices and combating the influence of the Chinese Communist Party, this event gathered over 20 young activists, artists, and representatives from Uyghur youth-led organizations to refine campaigning strategies, share tactics, and build community.

The goals were clear: to provide professional advocacy training, foster networking opportunities, and inspire empowerment.

Tailored Learning


The sessions hosted four exceptional speakers who led specialized sessions designed to empower participants with practical tools and professional advocacy skills.

  1. Organizational Advocacy with Tenzin Myinle of Students for a Free Tibet: provided participants with vital strategies for member recruitment, retention, and grassroots advocacy skills to fortify their ongoing advocacy efforts.
  2. International Advocacy with Hong Kong Activist Joey Siu: explored the essentials of international campaigning, gaining expertise in awareness building, coalition formation, stakeholder identification, outreach, and resource mobilization.
  3. Creative Advocacy in Times of Crisis with Mukaddas Mijit: looked at creative ways to amplify their voices by integrating the power of art to raise awareness and authentically engage with a wider audience.
  4. Wellness Tools and Mental Health for Activists with Dr. Vanina Waizmann: through intimate dialogue and meditative exercises, explored tools to nurture mental well-being and cope with shared experiences of burnout, intergenerational trauma, and survivor’s guilt.

“It is very difficult to keep young people engaged in activism and getting access to the right resources, but witnessing others with similar struggles and learning practical advocacy tools gave me hope again to just keep it going.”

Spotlighting Mental Health


Mental health is a crucial but often overlooked topic in advocacy spaces. By focusing on mental and physical wellness, HRF stressed the importance of safe environments that allow the youth to share personal stories that resonate with others and learn tools to navigate the emotional burden inherent in their advocacy work.

“When my family back home got detained, I was lost about my Uyghur identity. Intergenerational trauma left me emotionally frozen, but it also became my activation moment — to help my mom and my people. If you look at it in another way, when you’re getting attacked by bots, it means you’re making an impact.”

Strengthening the Uyghur Identity


When working in advocacy with diaspora communities, movements may feel fragmented and peers distant. By leveraging the utility of virtual spaces, the workshop allowed youth from across the globe to connect with peers to foster a stronger sense of community and redefine what it means to be “Uyghur” today.

“When we’re talking about Uyghur culture, we need to know what we’re talking about. If you live your culture 100%, your culture is being preserved through you, rather than you actively preserving it. It’s our responsibility to show how diverse we are, how different we are, how modern we are.”

Uyghur youth play a crucial role in preserving the rich heritage of the Uyghur community, advancing the Uyghur cause, and upholding the collective call for freedom and democracy amidst escalating Chinese authoritarianism. HRF was privileged to create a nurturing environment to empower youth and facilitate collaboration across regions, movements, and industries. Moving forward, HRF remains steadfast in our commitment to offering support for youth in our collective efforts in the global fight against tyranny.

Lastly, HRF would like to share a message of hope from one of the participants:

Dear friends,

I know that the weight of the genocide of our people, alongside our own struggles with identity crises and intergenerational trauma, can feel overwhelming. I see you, and I feel your pain. But never underestimate your strength. Your courage and your resilience are a beacon of hope for a brighter tomorrow. But also know that it’s OK to stumble, slow down, and take a break. Remember, this journey might not be without challenges, but you are not alone.

As long as we have hope and each other, there is possibility for change.

Kewser Kamil, Human Rights Director at the World Uyghur Congress and Political Staff Member at the Canadian Parliament