Laura O'Connell Rapira

Laura's quest for women’s rights is intersected with a fight for environmental issues, human rights and social justice. Equality around ethnicity, gender and LGBTIAQ peoples are key areas of her work. True to the intersectional approach, Laura works to eradicate oppression and injustice on multiple fronts. She aims to unleash the power of people through digital and community events, effective collaboration and values-based communications.

Currently employed by ActionStation as Director of Campaigns, Laura has also worked for Greenpeace and Oxfam. As a participant in the Live the Dream accelerator programme for social enterprise initiatives, Laura co-founded RockEnrol, which in 2017 ran or supported events attended by more than 1200 young people. They reached 393,698 potential voters on Facebook and their promotional videos got over 150,000 views. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram were all used to reach young potential voters.  While much of this activity was off the street and invisible, the reach of these initiatives was vast and targeted.

In the lead-up to the 2017 New Zealand general election, RockEnrol and ActionStation partnered to get New Zealand’s most disenfranchised and disempowered young people voting by hooking them into key issues.

The ‘Vote for te reo. Vote with aroha’ campaign targeted young Māori women and got them thinking about each political party’s policy on te reo Māori. Laura plans to build on the successes of the 2017 campaigns and continue to undertake focused activism using social media and crowd-based activities to fund initiatives and raise awareness of issues. 

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