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Executive Director of ICLEI USA Office @ Local and regional government association - United States of America
Tansu Toprak was born in a small village where girls were not allowed to go to schools in the middle of Turkey in 1994. She continued her education far away from the village by staying in dormitories with the support of her family since she was 10 years old. She studied and graduated from Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of International Relations in 2017 Ankara. When she was at the university, she participated in dance activities within the METU Contemporary Dance Club for 5 years. She has developed and implemented a project called “Children of the Rural” with this team during that period. She held dance, music and rhythm workshops with children in 7 different villages from 7 different regions of Turkey within the scope of the project. After graduation, she gave creative drama lessons to children aged 7-13 at the Park Education Center. She later wrote and conducted the project called “Communication with Dance Camp” supported by Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) and GIZ. In 2019, she participated in European Voluntary Service for one year in Sieben Linden Ecovillage in Germany. She worked on garbage sorting of children's habits in this process. She participated in Green Politics School which is organized by Green Thought Association. She started her master's degree in the program of Forestry System Transformation at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development in 2020. Meanwhile, she contributed to the MitOst community in their sustainability agenda as a volunteer for one year. She attended various training programs such as IPARD-LEADER program under the EU that is based on sustainable rural development. Recently, she has started to work as a project expert at Büyükçekmece Municipality. She writes projects for the municipality both in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and implementation of human rights and democracy at the local level. In parallel with this, she is co-founder of Syncopated Rhythm Platform (ARP) which aims to construct sustainable environments for youth. She currently takes a role in this platform as one of the coordinators of the project called “From Tradition to the Future”, which focuses on the culture of nomadic communities.