Occupation: Freelance Journalist/ Student
University: SOAS, university of London
Organizations: Palestine Society (PalSoc), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Queer-Trans Coalition, Progressive Coalition
Katherine Berjikian is a freelance journalist based in London. She is currently studying for a masters in Middle East Politics at SOAS, University of London, where she is actively involved in SOAS’ Palestine Society.
Before studying at SOAS, Katherine was a freelance journalist based in Armenia, writing frequently about the Armenian LGBTQ community, the war between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, and the Armenian feminist movement.
As an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Katherine was a member of UCSC’s Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) executive board. In this role, Katherine spearheaded her campus’ Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, organized multiple events campaigning for Palestinian human rights, and participated in several protests opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
During her undergraduate career, Katherine was also actively involved with a student-run organization called the Queer-Trans Coalition. This organization focused on promoting LGBTQ rights and activism and fought for more access to non-binary bathrooms and more trans-inclusive spaces on UCSC’s campus.
Katherine helped organize her campus’ first Progressive Coalition, which was a group of different student organizations on campus working to combat the racism and bigotry students regularly experienced at Santa Cruz through intersectional activism. This included organizations such as MEChA de UCSC (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan), the African/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA), the Sikh Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association (MSA), and the Queer-Trans Coalition.
After graduating from UCSC, Katherine was placed on the Canary Mission’s website. One of the pictures they used in their attempts to blacklist her was taken at a protest organized by members of UCSC’s Queer-Trans Coalition; all the participants of the protest identified as LGBTQ. However, Canary Mission deliberately edited the photo to hide the signs of her fellow protesters that stated their sexual/ gender identities. Ironically, Canary Mission used the doctored photo to accompany a claim that Katherine was harassing the LGBTQ community (i.e. her comrades holding signs next to her).