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Class 23 (2024-2026)

Priskila Arulpragasam, Sri Lanka

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Social Work

Gender Equity and Equality | Reproductive Justice | Digital Violence | Freedom of Expression

Priskila Arulpragasam holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the National Institute of Social Development and a postgraduate diploma in Gender Studies from the University of Iceland through the GRO GEST Fellowship. Priskila started working on sexual and reproductive health and rights as a volunteer with the Family Planning Association Sri Lank (FPASL), Y PEER Sri Lanka, and the Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka (YANSL). She served as the Youth Chairperson and a National Council member at FPASL from 2016 – 2018, and she served as Director of Programs at YANSL from 2017 – 2019 and currently serves as the Director for Organizational Development and Admin at YANSL.

Priskila received the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Young Innovators Fellowship in 2019 and engaged closely with the UNFPA Headquarters and the Asia Pacific Regional Office while working from the Sri Lanka country office. She has worked with the corporate sector as well as UN agencies and civil society organizations.

Her areas of interest are reproductive, gender, and disability justice as well as digital violence and freedom of expression online. She has been working across these fields for the past 10 years with 5 years of formal work experience and 5 years of volunteer experience. Priskila has worked closely with young people, urban poor communities, and the LGBTQI community in Sri Lanka, training them to address issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender within their communities.
She has worked with the deaf community in Sri Lanka and young women with intellectual disabilities to create accessible sexual and reproductive health information and understand their sexual and reproductive health needs. As a youth volunteer and innovation fellow, she also worked on peacebuilding from a gender and reproductive justice perspective and engaged with various youth groups and organizations to generate conversations around gender and reproductive justice-related issues in peacebuilding and social cohesion.

By joining the MSW policy practice program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Priskila hopes to enhance her skills in advocacy for policy change and learn more about creating a just and equal society for all regardless of age, gender, race, or religion and fostering social cohesion and harmony. She plans to return to Sri Lanka and work with NGOs and civil society organizations to continue her work in advocating for gender equality and reproductive justice.