iACT is a Los Angeles-based international organization demonstrating a new model of humanitarian action. Our mission is to inspire a more mindful humanitarian system.
Katie Jay Scott
"I've always felt that I will leave this world a better place, and each day there is something I can do to work towards this. Educate. Activate. Empower."
iACT shifts power and ownership to those most impacted by conflict,
and this approach is reflected in our staffing. Our US-based team is lean.
We focus on hiring within the communities where we work.
iACT as it exists today began 15 years ago on the beaches of Los Angeles, California with a dream.
That’s when Gabriel Stauring brought together a committed group of volunteers and friends, including Katie-Jay Scott, and they began to imagine what an NGO could look like built on the premise that refugees themselves are the experts.
Gabriel’s determination to act had been ignited after returning from his first visit to a Darfuri refugee camp in Chad in 2005. In listening to the refugee communities there, it became clear that just sharing their stories wouldn’t be enough. They were asking for action, for programs, and for resources.
Prior to those beach brainstorming gatherings, you were very likely to find Gabriel and Katie-Jay at a protest. At the peak of the Save Darfur movement, they could be found on the steps of the White House, at the United Nations, in the streets, calling for justice for the people of Darfur and the arrest of Sudan’s then President Omar al-Bashir. Later, they toured the US, visiting schools and college campuses, talking to people about past mass atrocities and urging them to take action for current ones.
As Gabriel and Katie-Jay made more trips to the camps, they continued listening to their Darfuri refugee friends, and a vision emerged.
iACT formalized as an NGO in 2009 and focused on filling gaps in humanitarian response and on improving the ways to create and implement programs with refugee populations. As executive director, Katie-Jay infused their work with restorative practice and a trauma-informed approach, and soon, Darfur United, Refugees United Soccer Academy, and Little Ripples began to take shape.
Today, iACT is an international action organization daring to imagine a more mindful humanitarian system; one in which the dignity, humanity, and agency of conflict-affected people are recognized, affirmed, and supported. It has expanded to multiple contexts – not just working with refugees, but with conflict-affected communities in places such as Armenia and the Central African Republic – and has began consulting with other NGOs on how they too might work alongside conflict-affected communities in the same way.
AWARDS, ACCOLADES, & ACHIEVEMENTS
iACT’s soccer and early childhood education programs have been recognized across the globe for their innovation and community-led approach.
Information and interviews about our programs as well as issues and policies that impact the people we serve.
Reports, articles, and white papers delving into early childhood education, sports for development, and more.