Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2019


Using design thinking to put communities at the center of their own conflict transformation.


When peacebuilding projects are implemented upon local communities as opposed to generated by them, they are less effective.


Develop a participatory peacebuilding process which utilizes design thinking, popular education, appreciative inquiry, social justice, and peacebuilding methodology to incorporate the voices of those impacted by conflict.

Monica 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 nonprofit that moves people from places of conflict, uncertainty, and trauma toward a creative collective future.

Monica’s passion is radical inclusion by democratizing information and processes. Using participatory design thinking to support leaders, movements, and communities, Monica and her team at Activate Labs provide training and facilitation using the “Frame Design Process,” an experiential and participatory design thinking methodology.

Monica is a Women Foundation of California Policy Fellow, a Boehm Fellow, and a Peace Direct 2018 Tomorrows Peacebuilder Finalist. 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.

“I am a recovering refugee. The pain of losing my home, my memories, and my family is a trauma that sits within me, but it is also the fuel that drives me to work every day towards building peace.”