Jelena Popovic is experienced in beginnings, grounded in mindfulness practice, open to learning from all beings, and deeply passionate about community and igniting its enormous transformative power. She aspires to educate, advocate, and mobilize others in co-creating a culture of peace. As a school psychologist by training and a peacebuilder by heart, Jelena’s passion is holding space for facilitated dialogues that are grounded in mindful awareness and empathy. She is driven by a belief that education is a continuous journey of getting intimate with and exploring the depths and layers of our purpose while uncovering curiosity, biases, joy, and wholeness along the way. Jelena is dedicated to peace education, mindful educational leadership and healing centered pedagogy as a path that supports a shift toward a culture of belonging for all.
Jelena spends most of her time in circle with educators and students and is a facilitation trainer for Soliya where she guides others in facilitating virtual cross-cultural exchange dialogues. She serves on the advisory board for the Peace of Mind, Cities4Peace, is a Program Facilitator at Mindful Schools, and in addition to being Practicing Peace in Schools Leadership Council lead she also co-host Hope Story Circles for the Peace Alliance. She guides mindfulness retreats for educators, leads international At Home In the World family retreats, and is a co-founder of Design to Connect, LLC, an educational consulting organization, that assists schools in their efforts in skillful, integrated, and sustainable schoolwide implementation of mindfulness and peace education practices.
Jelena’s guiding principle is summed up in saying “Peace begins with me.” Her daily peacebuilding practice consists of moments of silence and self-reflection and everyday gratitude for small, seemingly ordinary yet extraordinary things. Jelena is especially grateful for her loving family and friends and is honored to serve on the Peace Alliance Leadership Council.