Who are we?
Julia Bolz is a women’s rights activist providing social guidance to countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and Central Asia. She founded the Journey with an Afghan School program after 9/11 to help bridge the cultural divide between the U.S. and Afghanistan particularly by increasing the educational opportunities afforded to young women. Before joining the grassroots movement for gender equality, she worked at one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms, Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland. She received Seattle’s Tom C. Wales Citizenship Award for her combined humanitarian efforts. Bolz graduated from Smith College.
Julia Bolz: To in my immediate life, 9/11 played a big part for me. And it was somewhat of a wakeup call. Because I think that people were . . . They knew about the statistics in the developing world. They knew about the poor. They knew about the oppressed. But for some reason this all now came to the forefront for people. And there was an urgency of sorts. And 9/11 played a role for me. I also was impacted a number of years ago actually by one of my sisters who had a touch with death. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and what I found was that her struggle really affected me. And I found myself asking, “If I only had a month to live, do I like who I am, where I am, what I’m doing, the legacy that I left behind?” And looking deep within, I didn’t like the person that I’d created all those years. I had been a lawyer for over a dozen years. I spent most of my time billing clients and working very hard. And I . . . That was a big change for me. And I ended up at that point taking what was a two year sabbatical, and I moved to Africa. And my life was really never the same afterwards.
9/11 was a wake up call for many of us in America.