Julia Richardson is a Master of Education candidate with UCLA in the Teacher Education Program. She received her Bachelor of Art from California Institute of the Arts in 2011 and completed classes with UCLA Extension in child development. She is a YogaWorks Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT200) for both adults and children. Her background ranges from teaching at-risk youth with emotional disturbance and multiple disabilities, therapeutically serving elementary aged children with autism from underrepresented communities in South LA, and leading classes in yoga and relaxation techniques for adults and children, to working children with chronic illness in the hospital as an art coach, and providing visual and healing arts therapy for children and adults with autism.

Since 2008, she has been involved in an international dialogue on human rights, wellbeing and social issues with the CobaltSaffron Organization. She is part of the Los Angeles Event Committee for the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, a nonprofit organization working in South Sudan to increase access to excellent secondary education, train teachers, create equal opportunities for girls, and promote literacy for children and adults in the region. Everything for her ties back to the intention of building peace locally and internationally through cultivating social bonds, investing in compassion and bridging cultural divides on a personal level—processes that make us human. 

She has traveled to Israel, Palestine, France, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Canada, Czech Republic, England and Italy, all of which have influenced her desire as an educator to foster compassionate, culturally sensitive and globally aware citizens regardless of circumstance. Through seminars, her own research and academic coursework, she has studied Judaism, Islam, Sufi Mysticism, Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism. The process of developing an understanding of where people come from emotionally, intellectually and philosophically through understanding their religious beliefs and cultural traditions holds great value for her. Her aim is to absorb knowledge without prejudice while becoming increasingly culturally sensitive in order to build strong working relationships and bridge divides. She does not consider herself as belonging to any one religion; rather, she is interested in cultivating a respect for the essence of every faith and, in turn, every person.

Julia Richardson in the Middle East