The EMA Alumni 

The EMA Alumni are the community of alumni of the European Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation (aka EMA) offered by the Global Campus for Human Rights Europe.

In 2010, alumni of the EMA programme came together to build and foster a community that would connect the alumni of the programme for social and professional reasons. The Association was set up as a non-profit NGO, headquartered first in Venice and then moved to Brussels, and started carrying out activities for the EMAlumni community.

In EMA, “We believe in maintaining a strong network of human rights professionals and human rights defenders as a means to achieve the protection and promotion of human rights. Besides, anyone who has done the EMA programme will know how special the experience of studying together on the Lido is – we also believe in the strengthening of this connection, we keep it alive!“.

The EMAlumni aims to create a solid community of graduates of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights Master and Democratisation. The aims of the Association are to promote and reinforce contacts between its members, at a professional as well as at an informal level, and to promote human rights and democracy in Europe and throughout the world.
The community we are co-creating is one of peer learning, professional development and social bonds.

Our vision is a vibrant network of graduates of the EMA programme who stay in close contact to each other, to their Master Programme and universities and to the Alumni Association and who, through this contact, engage in a mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and support and on human rights initiatives.The ultimate driver for this community is to contribute to the strengthening of the promotion of human rights.

Throughout the year, as the EMAlumni Association we different activities and projects to nurture the community and make it an exciting and vibrant space for alumni to connect.

All our activities are alumni-led and are built around three main pillars:

1. Community building: being an EMAlum is being part of a community of people who share the EMA experience. We support that community by creating moments to meet and form bonds.

2. Professional development: we promote peer-learning for EMAlumi’s professional growth and for that of human rights defenders through seminars, webinars, articles and conferences.

3. Promotion of human right and democracy: human rights and democracy is at the core of our identity. We promote these through campaigns, events and by mobilising volunteers.

The EMAlumni General Assymbly:

General Assemblies are a central element in the life of the EMAlumni Association. To learn more about EMAlumni’s General Assymbly, click on this text.

Jessica Fiorelli

EMAlumni President

Jess graduated from the EMA in 2016, after which she ventured to Brussels to work in policy and advocacy on a variety of issues including migration, children rights, poverty, social economy and most recently education and training. She’s incredibly passionate about social justice and is an ardent advocate for diversity and inclusion – which she’s currently pursuing as a masters in Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Management at the Nijmegen School of Management. She is also a consultant for human rights projects.
Jess joined the EMAlumni board because she believes in the community the EMA creates and she wants to take that further so that more and more EMAlumni benefit from it.

Penny Papaspyropoulou

Secretary General

Penny is a political scientist with experience as an EU policy advisor at the European Parliament and a decade of project management work on the education and training of vulnerable groups of people, with a focus on migrants/refugees, women and children. Her special interest is the point where arts intersect with human rights and she insists that we as human rights professionals should keep an open line with the grassroots movements, as it is where the demand for the enjoyment of rights is born.