“‘And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
I grew up with this quote engraved in the back of my head from a very young age, but had not fully understood the true meaning of it until recently. To take away our ability to see someone with judgment and bias, and to replace that with a sense of humanism and compassion is a difficult thing for many of us to master or even learn.
To see people with a problem and not as a problem, with tragedy and not as tragedy – to separate someone from their situation and see them how we want to be seen is a beautiful thing, and the root to solving conflict.
Being a Peacekeeper is difficult when we live in a world where we desire to win. This is why I love it so much. We all need someone to be able to look at us and truly see us, and this is why I chose this path as my career. We all need a little justice and mercy.”
Élise Sanchez is a double alumnus from Pepperdine University where she holds a Masters in Dispute Resolution from the Caruso School of Law and a Bachelors in both International Relations and French from Seaver College. During her time in her studies she found her passion for being an advocate for those who need help amplifying their voices. After finishing her International Relations degree, she decided to go on for her MDR to learn how to be a better advocate and peacekeeper.
A main focus of her studies has been environmental justice. This is something that she believes connects us all and where Restorative Justice should start. She believes that, intersectionally, our environments are what prepare us for our life ahead, and that we all deserve to be brought up in the best ones so we are able to love the fullest lives. She hopes to use her degrees and experiences to promote these ideas and to educate people on the power of advocacy and restorative justice.