Julia Danalevich

Affiliated Organizations
  • Senior majoring in Culture and Politics with a minor in Justice in Peace Studies at Georgetown University
  • Founder, Finding Common Ground
  • Project Coordinator, Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University
  • Incoming Corp member, Teach for America
What are contexts and issues that you work on? How are you using peace education to address these issues? What keeps you going?

Ever since the election of President Trump, racial tensions and acts of domestic terrorism against minority communities have risen. Many people of color are feeling more unsafe under this presidency and its policies as we have begun to progress back instead of forward. Racism in the United States is an extremely intersectional issue, which through my work, I have attempted to tackle through the projects I am a part of at the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University. Here, I mainly focus on educational equity within underserved areas of Washington DC. In these schools, I work to implement restorative justice, peace education techniques within the classrooms, and I try to shift the mentality of education away from a teacher bestowing knowledge. After graduating in May, I plan on working within the formal education sector for underserved youth in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. I try to push the idea of education and learning as being a dynamic experience between students and teachers. What keeps me motivated to continue this work is knowing that there are thousands of people working towards the same goals as me, and slowly but surely we will create systematic and cultural change.

What has been your most meaningful or noteworthy moment in your peace education career?

Attending the IIPE last summer in Nicosia, Cyprus was definitely a turning point for me. I felt reinvigorated and inspired by all the amazing participants and the incredible work they are doing to incite change in their local and international communities.

How and why did you start working in peace education? What is your motivation for this work?

When I was around 10 I watched a 20/20 episode on Malala Yousafzai which changed the course of my life. I saw the extent people are willing to go to achieve freedom and fight for equality. Her story and work inspired me to lead change through education. In many ways I saw myself in her, and now I still see a part of myself in the communities I serve.