Born and raised in the banlieues of Paris, Inès battles on various fronts for social justice and youth empowerment: as a CSR professional in the private and policy sector but also as a social entrepreneur with GHETT’UP, the NGO she founded.
Inès Seddiki is a French-Moroccan young activist and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) professional living in the banlieues of Paris. In the 80s, her parents immigrated to France, pursuing ideals of liberty and equality. From a very young age Inés was exposed to injustice and the urge to take action. At 13, Inès started her own dance workshops in her community, addressing the need for young girls to feel and exist in the public space through art and creativity. Later, Inès shifted her focus on CSR, education and minority leadership.
By the age of 21, in 2013, Inés applied to the Humanity in Action Lyon Fellowship, following her desire to connect with young people sharing a similar passion for human and civil rights in France, and around the world. A bit overwhelmed by the knowledge and inspiration she gained, Inés took some take time to reflect before implementing her Action Project. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, her studies and career in CSR have led her to work in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa and to live in New York City, which had always been her dream.
“I realized how lucky I was, coming from the Parisian banlieues, to have had the opportunity to travel, to educate myself, to break barriers and meet amazing activists from around the globe. I understood had to share what I gained, I owed it to the people in communities like mine, who were left behind by the system.”
In 2016, at the age of 25, Inès founded GHETT’UP, an organization that aims to empower the youth of the French banlieues by training, connecting, and inspiring them to have a seat at the table and to take social change in their own hands. The program leverages on challenging the narration of the youth of immigrant descent in France, on skills development, critical thinking, networking, and on the virtues of international alliances and collaborations between young French activists and young community leaders in several major cities around the globe including New York City, Philadelphia, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, London. Since 2016, GHETT’UP has empowered 2000 individuals in the banlieues of Paris and has impacted a larger community of 4,000 people in 15 cities worldwide.
The Humanity in Action Fellowship was Inès’ first formal leadership experience, and it has been a key to amazing opportunities ever since. In 2018, Inés joined the Pat Cox Fellowship at the European Parliament: “Working as a Pat Cox-Humanity in Action Fellow in Brussels gave me powerful insight into policy work. It prepared me for my next career moves.” In looking toward the future, Inés hopes to remind young people that:
“We are the ones who keep this world together. We might not achieve radical equality and peace everywhere, but at least we make these ideals live on and renew them.”
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