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Centering Communities with Lived Experience




To achieve HU’s mission and advance program objectives, the Public Engagement Portfolio focuses on two main pathways to change: centering communities with lived experience and influencing policy outcomes.

By amplifying the voices of communities with lived experience, we seek to create a world where diverse perspectives are valued and incorporated into policy discussions and within journalism outlets.

This pathway, centered on amplifying the voices of people affected by conflict, exploitation, and injustice, incorporates the strategy of the Public Engagement portfolio through three core conditions: Advancing Agency, Accountable and Responsive Institutions, and Recognition of Shared Humanity. We are deeply committed to reshaping systems and structures so that everyone’s dignity is valued, not just acknowledged. Our goal is to ensure that policy discussions and journalistic coverage center voices from communities affected by conflict, exploitation, and injustice.

At an organizational level, our focus on centering communities with lived experience aligns with our goal of supporting the agency of those most affected by conflict and exploitation, nurturing the recognition of our shared humanity, and cultivating accountable and responsive institutions.

Our approach revolves around creating enabling conditions that sync with the efforts of other HU programs and peer funders. By collaborating with civic actors and survivor voices, we ensure that transformative potential is not only recognized but deeply respected.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Dignity of Proximate Actors: Our goal is to shape narratives and institutional frames that recognize the interconnectedness of humanity. By promoting the dignity and humanity of communities with lived experience of the issues we address, we contribute to a more compassionate and inclusive world.
  • Redefining Expertise: We advocate for the understanding and experience of historically marginalized people as well as actors from the global south as credible and critical within key institutional decision-making processes related to peace and freedom.
  • Meaningful Inclusion: We actively work towards representing communities with lived experience in key decision-making forums related to peace and freedom. Our commitment to meaningful inclusion is a cornerstone in reshaping the landscape of policy conversations and decision-making.

We invite you to explore how our work contributes to advancing agency, accountable institutions, and recognizing shared humanity. Together, we are shaping a future where diverse voices are heard, valued, and influential in creating sustainable change.




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