Activist-in-Residence

  • Meet Our Fall 2018 Activist-in-Residence!
  • 2017 Activist-in-Residence
  • About the Program
  • How to Apply

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Draga Gajić was born in 1988 in Banja Luka in former Yugoslavia (currently Bosnia and Herzegovina). She graduated at the top of her class from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Draga also earned two master’s degrees; one in gender studies from the University of Novi Sad (Serbia) and the other in political science from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka. To complement her studies, Draga audited the graduate-level course “Gender Equality in the Nordic Countries” at the University of Oslo in Norway. She is the author of three books in the field of gender studies, women’s history, and women’s heritage and one book in the field of photography and street style.

Her main areas of interest are: women’s history, women’s heritage, peace studies, peace and gender, gender and art, gender and disabilities. For the last decade she has been an activist in the field of peace, women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. As a volunteer she works with kids and youth with disabilities, especially with deaf and hard-of-hearing youth.

Since January 2016, Draga Gajić is the Executive Director at a non-government organization (NGO) called Udruženje za kulturu, afirmaciju i savjetovanje KAS in her hometown of Banja Luka. Draga is an award-winning photographer, and she has participated in more than 30 group photo exhibitions both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and internationally. She had her first solo photo exhibition in February/March 2017 at Banski dvor in Banja Luka.

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Sr. Jeannette Londadjim, CSJ, is a native of Chad who experienced civil war for many years. Growing up she witnessed violence and lost loved ones. She also had to deal with the trauma and xenophobia of being a refugee in host countries. She returned to her country as soon as it was made possible to re-enter despite her parents insistence for her to remain in the safe host country.

During her college years, Sr. Jeannette attended meetings of militant associations, but after finishing school, she felt called joined the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Catholic religious order for women. As a Sister of St. Joseph, she became an advocate of peace and justice in West and Central African countries. She has worked with migrants seeking asylum in France and with youth in Senegal, namely, “Young Peacemakers of Senegal.” Currently, Sr. Jeannette is an activist in North Africa working to promote peace in Algiers between native Algerians and the refugee and migrant populations.

Sr. Jeannette served as our 2017 Activist-in-Residence from August 28 to November 5, 2017. Read about Sr. Jeannette’s journey in her own words from her presentation to our First-Year Seminar students: My experience as a refugee and forced migration

Every fall semester, the Activist-in-Residence program brings a grassroots, international peace activist to Avila University for a period of 8 to 10 weeks for the purposes of strengthening the university’s commitment to peace, building relationships with experienced global activists, and exchanging stories and experiences that enhance our understanding and lived experience of peacebuilding and nonviolence.

The goals of this program are to: 1) Inform our campus and community of peace and nonviolence issues; 2) Inspire students and others to become involved or increase involvement in social activism; 3) Provide spaces for interaction with groups through the sharing of the activist’s story, perspective, and dreams; and, 4) Work with our campus to envision our role in issues of peace and nonviolence.

We are no longer accepting applications for this year’s residency. We will begin accepting applications for next fall  in December 2018.

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please send a message with your inquiry to: peace@avila.edu