Juliana Barnet is a social justice activist, writer, anti-colonial anthropologist, musician, and educator. For decades she was also also an organizer and translator for labor unions and worker organizations in Mexico and the US, as well as providing bilingual support for Latin American immigrants in US educational, political, and healthcare settings. She has long been a participant-observer of activist culture, focusing on the experience of being an activist—the risks, tensions, and dangers, as well as the joys, of daily life in the belly of the beast activists are struggling to transform.
Juliana has been part of movements for a just society all her life, from the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements as a child and teen, to social movements in Mexico, where she lived for nearly two decades, also working for justice, peace, and inclusion at many levels and with many groups and movements in the DC metropolitan area where she now lives, and elsewhere in the U.S and Latin America.
In her nearly two decades of living and working in Mexico City, she was a teacher, cultural organizer, musician, and writer in the national Popular Education Movement, and co-founder, in 1983, of the Asociación Cultural de Ayuda a la Comunidad, a Mexico City cultural and political organization that exists to this day. Her work includes making movement music, and artistic, theater, literary, and other forms of activism and cultural organizing. She is also co-editor (with Haitian activist scholar Gérard Pierre-Charles) and translator of “Shattered Jewel: the New Jewel Movement of Grenada, and of a series of articles on the rise and fall of the Grenadian revolution of 1979-1983.
Juliana is an Associate Fellow at the Institute at the Policy Studies in DC, Founding Board Member of the Asociación Cultural de Ayuda a la Comunidad in Mexico City, and member of the Claudia Jones School for Political Education in DC, USA.
Essays and other nonfiction
She writes the newsletter Activist Explorer and
is writing a coming-of-age novel-memoir about a young North American woman becoming an activist in Mexico, entitled The Educación of Julia.
Her fiction includes the Rainwood House social justice mystery trilogy, about every-day activists fighting gentrification, workplace harassment, and racial injustice, set in a ramshackle Maryland house mildly haunted by bygone racial justice struggles which becomes a refuge for activists fleeing some form of persecution for their work.
She also has co-written two children’s novels with with groups of 3rd-6th graders, Zombie Elementary and The Imagination Club.