Academic Background: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with Honors, Peace and Conflict Studies - Wayne State University.
Areas of Interest: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Youth Violence Prevention and Empowerment, Philanthropy, Cross-cultural Communications, Social Justice, Theatre of the Oppressed.
Gaia Klotz has four years of experience working alongside “at-risk” youth and families enrolled in preschool through twelfth grade primarily in Metro-Detroit through local non-profits. As a Youth Co-ordinator with People’s Community Services of Detroit, Gaia worked to implement restorative practices and after school programming in a zero-tolerance charter school in Southwest Detroit.
A 2016 Young Leaders of the Americas US State Department Reverse Exchange Fellow to Bogota, Colombia, Gaia was able to observe and co-facilitate peace education sessions with over 100 Colombian youth with the non-profit Somos CaPAZes. This experience led her to become the Co-Founder and Director of the Peace Culture Project in Metro-Detroit, a nationally and locally sponsored peace education initiative for Metro-Detroit youth. Peace Culture has gone on to become a sponsored project of Allied Media Project and services communities in Hamtramck, Southwest Detroit, and Ypsilanti.
Gaia has conducted several ethnographies as a part of her studies at Wayne State University including: perceptions of gender disparities in the rural Chinese classroom as part of Tsinghua University’s SSLP program, community solutions through Theatre of the Oppressed in Ixtapa/Zihuatenjo Mexico, and conflict resolution through performance with the Detroit’s Theatre’s women’s Shakespeare in Prison program. Gaia’s further research interests have included tracking international intervention strategies in the Syrian conflict with the Wayne State University Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and following the developments of Kurdish-Syrian political actors and structures for the Carter Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.