Peacebuilding Facilitator, Founder and Managing Director
Monica Curca is a peacebuilder, facilitator, and community organizer leveraging storytelling and human-centered design to create communities where everyone belongs. She is the founder and director of Activate Labs, a non-profit organization that builds a global creative force for peace and justice. It leads by activating and resources grassroots leaders that directly face violence and oppression through popular education training and participatory design using the "Frame Design Process” a proprietary human-centered design methodology that Activate Labs has developed. 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 relationships, policy, narrative and culture towards peace. 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.
Participatory Video Facilitator and Designer
Ethnobiologist, self taught photographer, filmmaker and participatory video & photovoice facilitator , Thor 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 and experiences. 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 loves to spend time with his daughter, traveling, rock climbing and using audiovisual media to make a positive change in the world.
Researcher and Project Director for Climate Refugees Stories
Ph.D., is currently a Post-doctoral Fellow in Global American Studies at Harvard University. She has taught and published widely in the fields of U.S. foreign relations, immigration enforcement, and climate migration. As a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow at Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC), she founded the publication IMM Print, and is currently working on a book project titled Invisible Bodies: Immigration Crisis and Private Prisons Since the Reagan Era.
Obsessed with logistics and passionate about impactful ideas, Shannon loves ‘making things happen.’ Educated in the field of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, she has always been fascinated by the world and its complexities. She’s spent the past 3 years traveling around the globe and recently left her favorite country, Colombia, where she launched a project called “Bilingual Guides for Peace,” where local youth aim to train people affected by the conflict in English and tourism. Shannon has worn several different hats as a Community Associate, Program Leader and Teacher, but her interests always lie in converting ideas into reality. She supports Activate Labs with their operations and community building.
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.
Margarita De Luna
In memory: November 8th 1950-August 7th 2018
Facilitator, teacher, psychologist, researcher and change agent on both sides of the border: Mexico and the United States of America. Margarita graduated from Pomona College -Claremont Colleges and the University of California at Santa Barbara in the Masters and Doctorate programs of Counseling Psychology. She was the coordinator 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. She co-facilitated for Project Hope in Tijuana and had an active in her private practice in addition to consulting social change organization, Margarita passed from this life to the next after a short illness. The world was a better place because she was in it. Her family and grand-children, co-workers and communities she served will always remember "Margarita la Maravillosa" with lots of love in our hearts.