Mariana Abdalla is passionate about the intersection of visual and digital journalism, advocacy, storytelling and empathy. She currently works to create powerful multimedia content for Innovate Public Schools, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build the parent and community demand for world-class public schools, and to accelerate the growth of these schools, particularly for low-income students and students of color.  

Prior to joining Innovate Public Schools, Mariana completed her Master’s degree in strategic and visual communications at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which she attended as a Rotary Peace Fellow. During that time, she conducted academic research and projects that explored the use of documentary short videos for nonprofit organizations as an effective means to bring about empathy and behavioral change through social media sharing. Mariana also produced, shot and edited several short documentary videos, including the award-winning short, Finn 1st place award for “Audience Choice; Super Short Documentary” and 3rd place award for “Student Documentary Film” in the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival 2016; 2nd prize in the Headwaters Film Festival 2016; And an “Official Selection” of the NYC Short Documentary Film Festival 2016, Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival 2016, Full Bloom Film Festival 2016 and New Urbanism Film Festival 2016.

A Brazilian native, she has a multicultural and international background. Mariana also has more than 4 years of experience in the health development and humanitarian field, and has worked with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative throughout Latin America and with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in Somaliland and Kenya.


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