Living in: Yerevan, Armenia
Feminist justice and peace activist
Milena has been engaged with social justice activism and study spanning themes from violence against women, queer and LGBTI resistance, and the struggle against war and militarisation.
She has a bachelor's in Women and Gender Studies from City University of New York, Hunter College and a master's in Peace and Conflict Research from Uppsala University where she was a Rotary Peace Fellow from 2013-2015.
She has ten years’ of work experience within civil society organisations with programmes relating to gender, peace-building and cross-border dialogue. She is the founder of the feminist trust and solidarity building initiative Beyond Borders: Linking Our Stories with Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian women. She is currently completing a research project that aims to provide support to civil society organisations working in the South Caucasus with incorporating a culture of peace approach to strategic planning of programmes and organisational development.
I am interested in engaging with processes for seeking creative and collaborative solutions to injustices prevalent in the world. Such processes include engaging with people who come from different communities with shared issues of violence in all its forms, including inequality. I am motivated by a desire to see people living freer lives - free from worry about how to feed their families and pay back their bank loans, free from violation by police if they exercise their right to protest, free from poor health as a result of environmental pollution or the stress of living in highly militarised contexts, free from living under corrupt regimes that privatise public goods, and free from war propaganda that dehumanises others and justifies proliferation of weapons and war. As such, I am mainly interested in disrupting violence, especially in contexts where war breeds corruption and abuse, by creating space for reflection, healing and motivation to act upon violent structures as a means for restoring justice.
I applied to become an Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity with the hopes of learning more about the social and economic aspects of structural violence, and to learn from my peers. My ambition is to contribute to a network of people committed to justice and to build collective movements and processes for disrupting violence in our local contexts with support from others struggling against violent structures in different parts of the world.