About Me - Julia Grifferty 


Growing up in the UAE, Hungary, Senegal and Georgia, I have a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of humanity. At age 12, I attended a Global Issues Conference, at which I internalized that youth have the agency and responsibility to challenge the exploitative status quo and build a just and sustainable future.  To do so, we must replace the narrative that drives the dominant paradigm of exploitation of people and the planet with one that promotes coexistence. Once we affirm that we are one human family will we be able to confront our global challenges. 

As a global citizen I feel a responsibility to keep those with power in the status quo accountable for perpetuating exploitative systems including myself, my community, my university, and global institutions. So as a 14-year-old in Abu Dhabi, I founded a campaign to ban plastic bottles on campuses to keep schools accountable for their contribution to the plastic pollution crisis. I also expanded the 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. I support students around the world who want to do similar campaigns as the Chief Ambassador for DropIt Youth and support organizations and businesses that are part of the global Plastic Pollution Coalition as the Coalition Coordinator. At The George Washington University I held my university accountable for their fossil fuel investments as an organizer for the campus divestment campaign, Fossil Free GW. I also founded a chapter of Unsung Heroes, a digital media group dedicated to cultivating a stronger appreciation for campus workers through story-telling. Currently, I am a SustainUS delegate to the World Bank Annual Meetings, where I advocate for sustainable and equitable climate finance. 

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As a Global Citizen, my role is to uplift the stories of those at the margin of global society and build collective will to respond to these stories with actions that result in social change. 
— Julia Grifferty