YOURS - Youth for Road Safety welcomes its new advocacy director, Luiza Amorim! Luiza started working with yours last week, December 2. As advocacy director, Luiza will be responsible for collaboration efforts in accordance with our organizational principles, vision, and mission. Get to know more about Luiza and her previous experiences on road safety.
1. Give us an interesting fact about yourself.
When I was six, I was involved in a car crash that almost killed my family. It was caused by drunk drivers at a high speed and it was severe. Even though I had minor injuries, my father almost got killed and so did my aunt. Recovery was tough, our lives turned upside down for a couple of years. Luckily, we all recovered and were able to continue our lives safely and healthy. As a survivor of a car crash, road safety became is personally relevant to me and to have the chance to work with YOURS, in an important effort to empower youth and save lives on the roads, is the motive of great honor and gratitude for me.
2. What were you doing before you got into YOURS?
Before joining YOURS, I was the Communications Manager for Brazil and Argentina at global health organization Vital Strategies for the past four years, managing the area of policy, advocacy, communications in the region and leading the development of mass media campaigns and advocacy-communication strategies in collaboration with local and global partners in multiple areas, including food policy, road safety, tobacco control, and COVID-19 response.
3. What got you involved in road safety?
I got involved in road safety through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) four years ago, while I was in Vital. Vital is one of the BIGRS partners, coordinating the initiative and leading the communications area with technical support to the cities in the initiative in the development of effective behavior change communication campaigns and strategies. I led the front of communications in Brazil and, later on, in Argentina and got to know the fantastic world of road safety and several fantastic partners and leaders involved in it worldwide.
4. Tell us about the work you’ll be doing as an advocacy director.
As Advocacy Director in YOURS, one of my main tasks will be to develop and implement the advocacy strategy of the organization, always in close collaboration and alignment with the YOURS team and youth leaders, in order to enhance and ensure high-quality global youth engagement and participation in the decision-making process in road safety. I will also be fostering partnerships with key stakeholders locally and globally and ensuring we share our policy positions in alignment with the Global Youth Statement. I will also be working closely with the Global Youth Coalition, especially with the Youth Advisory Board, in identifying key opportunities to enhance our work globally and locally, as well as in supporting global awareness campaigns, ensuring meaningful youth participation in events and in the policymaking and support and train youth advocates.
5. What are you most excited about in this new role?
I am really excited about working closely with so many young leaders globally. As a young leader myself, I understand the challenges of being young, bold, having much to say but not always having the chance to be properly heard by the ones at the decision-making table. I feel I have a lot to learn from the YOURS team and the Youth Coalition members and will be a pleasure to add to the incredible work the teams are doing!
6. How do you see the future of road safety with YOURS and youth?
I envision a future where youth will have sound, formal, and meaningful participation mechanisms that provide access to youth leaders at the decision-making table locally and globally, especially when it comes to road safety. We know how hard it is to be part of the decision-making process, even when we want to (and we do want) so I envision a world where the leaders of today can understand the importance of engaging with, hearing, and involving the leaders of tomorrow and creating the proper tools, forums and mechanisms to make this happen in a permanent, meaningful and organic way. And I am really excited to, alongside YOURS team and the Coalition, to part of efforts to make this happen soon!
7. Tell us about your hobbies.
I really enjoy having a moment to practice yoga every morning after my daily meditation. I believe that, if we want to take care of the world, we need to take care of ourselves too! I love scuba diving, even though it’s been hard to practice this year with COVID, and I do love to play with my dogs (I have four of them!). I am absolutely passionate about travelling and getting to know new countries, new cultures, new people and I also love to read and write – I have a “secret” blog where I post some poems and texts (in Portuguese only!). And a good Pisces, I love Zodiacs and astrology, so I read my horoscope every day!