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Human Rights Advocacy in Motion: HRSA Tackles Community Issues

A Fall Semester Update from the Human Rights Student Association
December 16, 2020

Committed to human rights education and advocacy, the Human Rights Student Association (HRSA) is an undergraduate student group working to raise awareness about a variety of human rights issues. Check out the article below to find out more about their efforts from executive board member Rosaleen Joyce.

The Human Rights Student Association is an undergraduate student group affiliated with the Human Rights Program that works to mobilize fellow students to take action for human rights locally, nationally, and internationally.

Minneapolis has suffered from a homelessness crisis for years, but this summer, inspired by the momentum of the Black Lives matter movement and the instability of the pandemic, a loose coalition has arisen aiding camps of unhoused people in parks, through the formation of mutual aid networks. The Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement seeks to end the criminalization of homelessness and promote ways to help our unhoused neighbors through mutual aid and harm reduction.

Earlier this semester HRSA had the pleasure of hosting members of the grassroots mutual aid group, the People's Laundry MPLS. Their organization provides laundry services and clothes to community members in need. Deanna Bruzelius, a founder and leader of the group, informed HRSA event attendees about her organization and the Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement.

On November 16th, HRSA had the honor of hosting Michelle Gross, founder of the nonprofit Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB). She led the group in a “Know Your Rights” training, giving participants practical knowledge intended to keep them safe when interacting with law enforcement.

Each year in December, HRSA hosts a series of events surrounding Human Rights Day (on December 10th). This year the theme is “youth activism”. HRSA is excited to announce that they will host three events centered on this subject. On December 7th, they will host various local youth activists to speak about their work and experiences on a panel: “youth activism this summer”. On December 10th HRSA will hold an event entitled “the history of youth activism” and is honored to host activist and Professor Emeritus of the departments of African American & African Studies and English, John Wright, along with Profesor Rose Brewer of the African American & African Studies department. Closing out the series on December 14th, the event will feature multiple youth activists and will center on the topic “youth activism and mental health”. 

HRSA would like to wholeheartedly thank all the people who have attended their virtual events thus far, as well as our sponsors this semester, the Institute for Global Studies, and Youth Studies. 

If you want to stay updated on all of HRSA’s events and the great work they do, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or email hrpsab@umn.edu to sign up for the e-newsletter. 

Everyone is welcome to attend all of HRSA’s events, and all undergraduates interested in getting involved in human rights work are invited to join the HRSA board.