Founder and Managing Director
Monica Curca is a peacebuilder, facilitator, and community organizer leveraging storytelling and capacity building to make a more just and peaceful world. She is the founder and managing director of Activate Labs, a strategy, storytelling and transformational leadership capacity building non-profit organization. Monica’s passion is radical inclusion by democratizing information and processes. She specializes in using participatory processes and design thinking to support movements, organizations and grassroots communities as they collectively work to shift policy, narrative and culture towards justice. Monica holds two Masters Degrees from the Heller School for Social Policy in Management at Brandeis University, in Sustainable International Development and Conflict and Coexistence and lives in Southern California with family.
Margarita De Luna
Facilitator, teacher, psychologist, researcher and change agent on both sides of the border: Mexico and the United States of America. Margarita is a graduate from Pomona College -Claremont Colleges and the University of California at Santa Barbara in the Masters and Doctorate programs of Counseling Psychology, both programs certified by the American Psychological Association. Most recently she was thecoordinator of the Postgraduate Programs in Education at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Tijuana focusing on psychology, education and societies of the border area, as well as training of teachers and students as critical thinkers and solid researchers in this region. With her initiative and coordination the Congress and Diplomas of Border Pedagogy was begun. Currently as a facilitator for Project Hope in Tijuana and active in her private practice in addition to consulting social change organization, Margarita enjoys spending more time with her family and grand- children.
Marium is a writer, scientist, and community organizer. She studied Biochemistry, Near Eastern Studies, and Global Poverty and Practice at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate student. She was a member of the first elected woman of color Executive Board in UC Berkeley’s history, serving as the External Affairs Vice President. In this capacity she worked to lobby and organize with students and marginalized communities in her local community, spearheading campaigns around tuition hikes, affordable housing, and campus climate. A recent member of Wellstone Action’s Digital Organizing School cohort, Marium is passionate about using her experiences and knowledge to build strategic movements rooted in community and centering her people. Marium joins Activate Labs excited to find the intersections between data, art, and the movement to create positive change.
Ethnobiologist, self taught photographer, filmmaker and participatory video & photovoice facilitator , Their has worked in the American continent and Africa in projects where community needs are at the core, from environmental conservation in the Sonoran Desert, to cultural exchanges around leatherback sea turtles in the Guna Yala province in Panama. He’s been a participatory video facilitator for 7 years working in Northwestern Mexico, western and eastern Africa facilitating participatory video projects for InsightShare. He has an B. Sc in Biology but has devoted much of his career to support media initiatives in rural, urban and indigenous communities in their quest for a better future. Thor joined Activate Labs to collaborate in the Path from Pain to Resilience participatory video project and the Break Free campaign with teenagers from Los Angeles Korea Town. Thor loves to spend time with his daughter, traveling, rock climbing and using audiovisual media to make a positive change in the world.
Aileen is feminist, peacebuilder, culture aficionada and storyteller. After obtaining her undergraduate degree on Latin American Studies and French at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked as a journalist for two Spanish-language newspapers in the Seattle area covering topics like immigration, education, health and politics. As an undergraduate, she also spent a year at the University of Campinas Brazil as a fellow for the Bilateral Consortium of Social Science and Public Policy. Consequently, she obtained a double masters in Sustainable International Development and Coexistence and Conflict Resolution from Brandeis University. She has done extensive field work in Highland Guatemala working closely with Indigenous youth and women in understanding their leadership roles and democratic efforts in their community’s political agenda. Aileen recently worked as a gender specialist consultant for different international development organizations like Oxfam. She is excited to join Activate Labs to help diffuse the stories of families and women refugees and migrants in the United States to the world through close dialogue and community mobilization.