Obiozo Ukpabi was originally educated as historian (with expertise in oral history) in Amsterdam and New York and went to Cape Town for the follow-up education Justice & Transformation. There she immersed herself in the question how justice and reconciliation are possible after a period of large-scale human rights violations. After completing her studies, Ukpabi continued to live in South Africa for six years, sharpening her skills as a facilitator of effective multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues related to land reform and structural inequality. Her earlier work as a journalist in the complex reality in the Niger Delta of Nigeria made her realize that stories about facts, fiction, trauma and humiliation can be fuel for prolonged armed conflicts.
After Ukpabi returned from South Africa, she worked in the field of peace building and democracy, with a special focus on the role of gender. She provided training and project support for peace activists in various conflict-affected settings, including South Sudan, and Syria. Since 2019, she has supported Building Conversation in developing a more inclusive, interactive knowledge policy and practice. Ukpabi is currently a PhD candidate with the University for Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, where she is part of the interdisciplinary Dialogics of Justice research project.