Media Fellow Alumni: 2015
Media Fellow Alumni: 2015
Profession: Director, PAX Manifesto
Based In: Garden Grove, CA USA
Geographic Focus: USA, Middle East, Eurasia, Mexico/Latin America
Areas of Expertise: Strategic communications, transmedia storytelling, community-based media, peacebuilding
(All biographical info is from 2015. For latest bio, please visit Fellow’s website, LinkedIn, or other social media profiles).
Monica Curca is a community organizer and peacebuilder utilizing digital and traditional communications, media to foster peace and justice locally in the USA and around the world. She is the founder of PAX Manifesto and the Transmedia for Good: SoCal group in Los Angeles, and was co-organizer of the first ever #riptheredcarpet Oscar Hack at USC which talked back to media on issues of race, gender and class. She has extensive experience in transmedia campaign strategy, management and training/building capacity of civil society organizations and grassroots communities in peacebuilding, media and communications. She also leads workshops and speaks at conferences such as Learn Do Share: Los Angeles, United Methodist Communications Change Makers Conference, and the Peacebuild (ICT 4 PEACE) at MIT. In addition she often can be found lecturing on college and university campuses such as UCI, UCLA, USC and Occidental College about designing innovative communications and media and digital technology projects for social impact that change behavior and shift dominant narrative towards peace.
Monica’s story begins as a refugee coming to the United States along with her 11 brothers and sisters and parents from Romania. As political activists in communist Romania, instead of facing more imprisonment and torture, her parents made the difficult decision and sacrificed everything for the hope of freedom and democracy. As faith leaders, peacebuilders and change makers, Monica’s parents understood what it meant to dedicate their lives to creating better world, a vision that Monica pursues and embodies. Monica’s experience as an immigrant in the United States has shaped her deep cultural competency and understanding, which is additionally complimented by being tri-lingual in Romanian, Spanish and English. She is passionate about fostering dialogue and understanding through communications, and continues to build a more just and peaceful world.
Currently, Monica is the communications organizer (manager) and restorative justice organizer at OCCCO (Orange County Congregation Community Organization), part of the PICO NETWORK. In this capacity she works to empower at-risk urban youth and marginalized communities of color through media making, restorative justice and shifting dominant narrative within the black lives matter movement. She has trained youth in graphic novel creation, conducted healing circles using participatory video practices, facilitated meetings between police officers and community members, hosted community radio programs on Restorative Justice, and fostered new peace-oriented narratives that are communicated to media and policy makers about dignity, justice and peace.
Monica has worked with top policy makers and elected officials around the world and with the most marginalized communities like indigenous activists in Chiapas, Mexico, women activists in Syria and paroled youth serving community service and everything in between. Some of the organizations she has worked with are the United Methodist Charity on Relief and The Center for Citizen Peacebuilding at University of California Irvine, and the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria. 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.