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Turning theory into action: Getting to know Katie Nichols



In our newest “Getting to Know” piece, we are honored to introduce Katie Nichols, Project Assistant at Humanity in Action Germany. Katie joined the Berlin team in October 2023, and quickly dove into program planning and implementation for the Landecker Democracy and Berlin Fellowships. Indeed, both programs are close to Katie’s heart…

Currently based in Germany, Katie grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the US. She has always been interested in global politics, and right after high school spent a year in Berlin, learning a new language and exploring new cultures. “My Berlin experience absolutely changed my perspective on our domestic issues,” she shared excitedly.

Katie’s academic path was reinforced by her own grassroots organizing efforts.

Katie returned to the Twin Cities to study at the University of Minnesota. She was heavily affected by the 2020 George Floyd murder and still-ongoing police brutality in the US, and so her studies were focused on criminal justice.

Katie’s academic path was further reinforced by her own grassroots organizing efforts. In the summer of 2020, during the protests, many local businesses were burned down. Wanting to help those in need, Katie and her friends helped organize food drives for their community, and such hands-on experience has had a direct impact on Katie’s studies ever since.

“For my BA thesis, I focused on both grassroot initiatives and police brutality,” Katie explained, noting she continues to be “interested in research based on critical theory, paying special attention to the root of an issue in addition to the severity of problems at the surface.” Today, she continues her studies as a visiting researcher at Europa Universität Viadrina.

Katie’s interests grow beyond theories on paper…

“Interacting with diverse perspectives keeps me optimistic about the world.”

However, Katie’s interests grow beyond theories on paper. In fact, she looks forward to using her expertise on right-wing extremism in helping to build the 2024 Humanity in Action Berlin Fellowship! “It is inspiring to see enthusiastic youths working in their communities,” she shared, admitting that she is most looking forward to the in-person Action Academies. “Working in an international team and interacting with such diverse perspectives keeps me optimistic about the world,” she recognized.

Finally, when not researching or working, Katie loves spending time outside. While she grew up in a city, together with her family she would often go to Northern Minnesota to camp or kayak. “Nature keeps me grounded,” she laughed.

Katie, we are honored to have you with us!

To get to know Katie even better, visit her Humanity in Action Person Page or connect with her via LinkedIn