Founded by Monica Curca, an artist, peacebuilder and former refugee, Activate Labs draws upon design thinking and participatory action research models to resource community leaders with peacebuilding, storytelling and peacetech. “Our model is to center participants, in their rightful places as the owners over their own experiences and walk with as they lead with empathy and resilience,” says Curca.
UUSC supports Activate Labs’ Bridges to Belonging project, which brought art-based actions and creative trauma healing spaces to families in the Central American Exodus at the border and in detention. They sourced local art supplies, canvasses, and created large graphic banners for parents and children to fill with color, tell their stories, and “bring people back to themselves.” On International Migrants Day they presented these banners to legislators’ offices in Washington DC with a demand for more humane migration policies. Activate Labs also creates participatory videos, most recently collaborating with an El Salvadoran family telling their own story of their journey from Mexico City to the United States to seek asylum. Activate Labs brings a unique joy and creativity to its work that never fails to inspire.