Mariam Gafforio

I envision a world where humans can collaborate with one another to care for basic needs and difficult dilemmas, attend to conflict with care and purpose, and live in balance with the Earth. My commitment to contributing to this vision has taken me on an unconventional life path of self-directed and experiential learning, and hands-on practical application in many fraught situations. I have over 10 years of experience supporting organisations, movements, and communities with conflict facilitation and building resilient conflict systems, and 20 years of experience as an organiser and facilitator in various activist campaigns and movements.


I grew up in a working-class, Shia Muslim family and community in New York. I became disillusioned with religion and traditional schooling at 16. I dropped out of high school and travelled the US, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains, going to protests, squatting abandoned buildings, and hanging out with anarchists. I became pregnant at 18, and by 19 I was a single mother in and out of homelessness, surviving on a little money and a lot of community with anarchist riff-raff. I spent nine years in a frequently-touring band called Blackbird Raum, using the stage name Mars Goetia. We developed cult notoriety in many cities, activist communities, and punk scenes globally.


Having the ability to frequently travel and meet people with the band created an opportunity for me in 2013-2014 when I chose to use several tours to conduct interviews with anarchists and radicals across the US about conflict in their movements. What I learned hugely informed my work and my understanding of conflict. I continue to practise integrative approaches to conflict and feedback, and I am working on a writing project about my ideas and learning. Meeting Miki Kashtan and becoming involved with NGL has given me a place to have full companionship in the bigness of my vision, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn from and alongside this global network of practitioners and visionaries.


I have rediscovered my connection to spirituality which immensely nourishes me. I live with my husband, two kids, and several close people in a small intentional community in California.

Related Offerings

Nonviolent Global Liberation Community