Shaden Dowiatt

Director of Out-of-School Time and Engagement

Shaden is an educator, activist, inspirer, organizer, peacemaker, adventurer, advocate, and connector. She has a deep love for working with young people in capacities that harness their energy to have positive impacts in their own lives and in their communities.

Shaden has served as One Common Unity’s Program Director since 2017. In her role, she provides programmatic leadership to OCU’s flagship program, Fly By Light, and other youth programming impacting thousands of youth across the District. She oversees OCU’s extensive professional development offerings and annual Fly By Light National Training, curriculum development, program quality, and evaluation across programs. Shaden also provides organizational strategic support through her involvement on OCU’s Senior Leadership Team.

Shaden has facilitated the Fly By Light program at various schools throughout the city and has been a trainer for the Fly By Light National Training since its inception in 2019. Additionally, she has trained hundreds of educators in Washington, DC in social-emotional literacy, conflict resolution and mindfulness in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and DC Public Schools.

She is a graduate of American University’s School of International Peace and Conflict Resolution program where she focused on children and youth in conflict. During graduate school, Shaden spent a summer working for Wi’am, a conflict resolution organization in Bethlehem, Palestine. Between 2008- 2017, she gained valuable experience writing and implementing a civic engagement and service-learning curriculum for Kid Power Inc., a youth development organization located in Washington, DC. She previously served as a Program Coordinator at Jubilee Housing, running an out-of-school time that served elementary school students. Prior to graduate school, Shaden spent considerable time serving community-based organizations in the Gulf Coast post-Hurricane Katrina through the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Program.

Shaden has also promoted cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation among youth through work with Seeds of Peace, a State Department-sponsored Youth Exchange and Study Program, and in South Korea where she led a delegation of American youth for a Children’s International Summer Village. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Butler University with a major in International Studies and Spanish and minors in Peace Studies and Psychology.

In her free time, Shaden loves to travel and learn about other cultures, listen to live music, practice yoga, run and bike through Rock Creek Park, and enjoy various outdoor adventures.