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Reflecting on the Legacy Gabriel and Katie-Jay

Dear iACT Community,

As we mark the one year anniversary of the passing of our founder Gariel Stauring and Executive Director Katie-Jay Scott, this message from Gabriel reverberates in my mind:

“You don’t run out of love. Keep giving.”

The truth is these two never ran out of love, and their determination to keep giving it rippled out into the world around them. Their love can be seen from the strength of the volunteer community they built first in California’s South Bay to the commitment of the wonderful soccer coaches running the Refugees United Soccer Academy in eastern Chad. It’s amazing to think how iACT began with just a tug on Gabriel’s heart and we’re now a community of people across four continents.

Gabriel and Katie-Jay not only worked tirelessly to support refugee and conflict-affected communities in forgotten regions of the world, they made it their mission to shift power back to people in those communities. Theirs was a vision of a humanitarian system where those most impacted by conflict were also the ones with the decision-making power. What they called a “mindful humanitarian system,” with individuals seen, heard, and recognized.

Among the lessons they taught us was to start with trust, listen deeply, take hope seriously, and embrace joy. As Katie-Jay reminded us,

“We start with trust, and it hasn’t failed us yet.”

These are lessons we take with us into our own lives as well as into the work as we continue their legacy. We are reminded of their mantra that it’s personal, that ultimately we are not building programs, we are building relationships. This is what makes iACT sustainable.

On this first anniversary of their passing, I want to make a promise to my friends:

Gabriel and Katie-Jay, I promise we will work tirelessly to continue the pathway toward peace and justice you so lovingly created. We will never stop asking, “what if?” and creating space for moonshot thinking. We will continue to see joy as an energizing and healing core aspect of our work, and we will always recognize, honor, and support the power already within each individual.

To the iACT community, thank you for standing with us this year and always. Thank you for doubling down on hope and joy, even in times of sorrow. And thank you for believing in us and our determination to continue Gabriel and Katie-Jay’s vision.

With Love,

Sara-Christine Dallain


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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