Dr. Chitra Golestani is a faculty member at Valparaiso University and the Institute for Humane Education in a hybrid Master of Education program. She is a co-founder of the Paulo Freire Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she is a research associate and lecturer. Dr. Golestani serves on the editorial board for Global Commons Review, a new magazine published by the Paulo Freire Institute and produced by the UNESCO-UCLA Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. She holds a PhD in Social Science and Comparative Education from UCLA and a Master’s in Education from University of California, Santa Barbara. Her areas of interest, lectures and research include Human Rights, Social Justice and Global Citizenship Education, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice, Youth Activism in Extended Education, Conscious Living and Social Action. In September 2019, she began a new administrative position as Associate Director of the Wilmette Institute.
Her work is inspired by her lived experience with persecution in the country of her birth, Iran, where members of the Bahá’í Faith are not allowed to practice, are prohibited from accessing higher education, and denied other civil rights. While still a young child, her family escaped this marginalization and fled to the US in search of religious freedom, equality between women and men and human rights. Currently, Dr. Golestani is engaged in numerous grass-roots programs aimed at raising human capacity, locally and globally, to work towards a more just, united, and sustainable planet.