Democracy No Longer Deferred: Why Following the Most Impacted is a Winning Strategy

Democracy No Longer Deferred: Why Following the Most Impacted is a Winning Strategy

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Aug. 15 11:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Aug. 15 11:50 AM (Eastern)

The most oppressed, lead the best. In our current democracy, wealthy interests disenfranchise, disregard and exploit groups that have historically been labeled as “other.” Our efforts to achieve a fair, inclusive democracy cannot happen without leadership from the most impacted communities. Hear from activists fighting for workers, mothers, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and differently-abled folks—and against racism, the climate crisis, and poverty—on how they are fighting for their communities to be represented in our democracy. This will be a high-level strategy conversation about the present state of democracy and our shared vision for the democracy we are fighting to build, from the perspective of those most impacted.



Maya Berry


Maya Berry is Executive Director of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a non-profit, nonpartisan, national civil rights organization founded in 1985 to nurture and encourage direct participation in our political and civic life to mobilize a strong, educated, and empowered Arab American community. In 1996, she established AAI’s first government relations department, which she led for 5 years before becoming Legislative Director for House Minority Whip David Bonior, where she managed the Congressman’s legislative strategy and developed policies on international relations, human rights, immigration, civil rights and liberties, and trade. With a deep knowledge of public policy making, Berry has helped expand AAI’s work on combatting hate crime, protecting the rights of securitized communities, and strengthening our democracy.

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Jonathan Butler

With 9+ years of organizing and campaigning experience Jonathan brings a wealth of knowledge around how to affect structural change and empower communities, both socially and in policy, that give people back their power from corporations and powerful interests. Jonathan utilizes their skills and experiences to highlight how environmental justice solutions can also strengthen our democracy and what are best practices for mobilizing people to take action.