Elena Novak, of Lakeland, FL, was the director of mission promotion and stakeholder engagement with Peace Through Action USA in 2023. Elena was responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring activities that increase awareness of Peace Through Action and stimulating engagement with our learning and action opportunities.
Elena brought to this position experience developing and implementing programs in peer mediation and nonviolent communication, training in group facilitation, and work with nonprofit organizations whose missions were to bring people together across diverse identities to achieve a common goal. Prior to joining Peace Through Action USA, Elena worked as a senior organizer at Faith and Action for Strength Together, where they organized alongside clergy and lay leaders to win changes to local policy, including $9 million toward a county-wide centralized pathway for accessing behavioral health services. Elena also served one year as an AmeriCorps member in Tallahassee, FL, during their undergraduate career. Elena is an active member-organizer for the National Writers Union’s digital media division and a part-time independent writer and journalist. Elena holds a Master of Arts in international development and social change from Clark University.
Elena was motivated to work for Peace Through Action because they believe learning to navigate and resolve conflict can be a tool whereby people find the safety to be their authentic selves, learn to set boundaries, and achieve understanding. They hoped this position would deepen their skills in creating environments that allow people to thrive and work together toward a better and more just world.