An engineer turned educator with deep roots in the Seeds of Peace community, Pooja Pradeep is applying her experiences in mobilizing communities for good as the new International Director of GATHER, the action-taking branch of Seeds of Peace for adults.
“I see the power and potential of this community,” said Pooja, who was a 2018 GATHER Fellow, and founder of the nonprofit Letters of Love. “I want to be a part of creating an infrastructure that allows a citizenry of changemakers to do whatever they can, with whatever they have, wherever they are—in the most joyful ways possible.”
In many ways, the role is bringing experiences full circle for Pooja. Pooja has been an active and visible leader in the Seeds of Peace ecosystem since first working as a counselor at Camp in Maine in 2017. The following year she was selected as a GATHER Fellow—an experience that she said was pivotal in her professional and personal development, and a large part of what attracted her to this position.
“GATHER invested in me as a human being during a very difficult time in my life, and it made all the difference in becoming the leader that I am today,” she said. “This is an opportunity to pay that forward so others can have a pivotal experience as well.”
GATHER was created in 2015 to develop, support, and connect adult Seeds and changemakers working toward social, political, and economic change. As International Director, Pooja, who is based in Bangalore, will be responsible for connecting, mobilizing, and supporting the multinational GATHER network to take individual and collective action to build justice and peace.
With deep experience in the fields of arts for social impact, conflict transformation, and refugee and migrant empowerment, she is well suited for connecting changemakers within and outside of the current Seeds of Peace network.
“She is a masterful community builder,” said Eva Armour, Seeds of Peace Director of Impact, as can be seen in Pooja’s work through the Community Arts Network, Letters of Love, and her most recent efforts to create a COVID squad to respond to needs in India.
“Not only is the work impactful, but she centers and builds community along the way as a fundamental approach to social change,” Eva said. “Pooja is a force of energy who cares for people as fiercely as she fights for justice.”