Patricia devotes much of her spare time to supporting causes, advocating for vulnerable groups and campaigns that are close to her heart. Alongside her many other commitments, Patricia campaigns tirelessly for the charities, causes and people that inspire her, from mentoring young people to championing female empowerment programmes.
Patricia has a PhD in school exclusion and is passionate about ensuring educational inclusivity for all, specifically children living in divided societies. Patricia is focused on raising public consciousness about the causes underpinning school exclusion and the damaging effects this punishment has on society. She is currently working on translating her doctoral thesis into a book and is also collaborating with excluded youth and their educators on a new research project.
Patricia believes that social policy can be radically improved by amplifying the voices of marginalized groups and individuals. Rather than focusing on what decision-makers feel are the solutions to complex social issues, Patricia advocates for a transformative approach which involves attending to power dynamics by positioning marginalized groups as the central object of inquiry around which a policy solution should be built.
To do this, Patricia employs tools such as 'tuning in' to social dynamics and creating conditions for positive social change via anti-oppressive practice.
Growing up in a post conflict society, Patricia struggled to understand her place at school, in the community and in the work place. At a young age she began questioning why she and other women were treated so differently to their male counter parts.
Watching the Women's Coalition advocate for integrated education and improved social housing as part of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement talks, reinforced the important role women play not only as mothers, nurturers and carers but as political leaders, negotiators and peace builders. From a young age, Patricia was inspired by these Peace Heroines and wanted to follow in their steps to become a leader.
Patricia has fought long and hard to have her voice recognized and heard. She credits her experiences as a participant on the Washington Ireland Programme as a catalyst of her female empowerment journey. Deeply concerned about consistent efforts to disintegrate of women's rights, Patricia is a fierce advocate for female empowerment classifying it as a fundamental human right core to the success of any civilized society.