Growing up in the UAE, Hungary, Senegal and Georgia, Julia is a global nomad with a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of humanity. At age 12, she attended a Global Issues Conference, at which she learned the current economic system exploits the vulnerable communities around the world. She immediately committed herself to protect the rights of those at the margin of global society to a just and sustainable world. To build public and political will for global sustainable development we must replace the narrative that drives the dominant paradigm of exploitative global development with one that promotes coexistence among people and the planet. This narrative should be built by stories from the communities experiencing climate injustice and those which reaffirm humanity is one global family. Only then will we have the collective will to resolve this existential crisis before us.
Julia’s will to fight for sustainable development stems from her sense of global citizenship. To her, that means she has a responsibility to keep those with power in the status quo accountable for perpetuating exploitative systems including herself, her community, her university, and global institutions. So as a 14-year-old in Abu Dhabi, she founded a campaign to ban plastic bottles on campuses to keep schools accountable for their contribution to the plastic pollution crisis. She also expanded her campaign to make the sustainability movement more inclusive in the UAE by founding the Eco-Citizen Water Project to bring clean water dispensers and reusable bottles to migrant labor camps. As a student at The George Washington University, she keeps her university accountable for their fossil fuel investments as an organizer for the campus divestment campaign. Now, as a delegate, she seeks to hold the World Bank accountable to drive equitable sustainable development. She will do so as an advocate, ally and story-teller.