Global Reach of Local Activism: Minnesota’s Human Rights Stories

Register for tours, an expert panel, and keynote address
Title card stating The Global Reach of Local Activism: Minnesota's Human Rights Stories
Event Date & Time
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Event Location
Elmer L. Andersen Library

222 21st Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The people of Minnesota have played an outsized role in international human rights activism and scholarship since the 1970s. The story is also a complicated one. As Minnesota-based actors have made their international impact, the state remains the site of persistent human rights violations. 

Fueled by the resources of the newly established Minnesota Human Rights Archive, "The Global Reach of Local Activism” recounts a compelling slice of local-to-global history, replete with triumphs, setbacks, and ongoing challenges. The exhibit is the first in an ongoing series highlighting unique and extensive archival resources that will soon be available to the public for the first time. 

Join us as we explore Minnesotans' contributions to the global movements to end gender-based violence, racial discrimination, and torture. A call to action offers hope for a better future while acknowledging the unfinished work of protecting human rights in Minnesota and globally. 

The event will kick off with Minnesota human rights experts discussing the successes, challenges, and what is next for women’s rights, the struggle against torture, and racial justice. Panelists include: Loretta Frederick, former Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP); Emily Hutchinson, Vice President for Global Programs at Center for Victims of Torture (CVT); and Angela Rose Myers, board chair Minnesota Freedom Fund Action and former President of Minneapolis NAACP.

World renowned human rights scholar, Kathryn Sikkink, will give the keynote address reflecting on the significance of Minnesota human rights activism to the international human rights movement and the importance of archives for human rights and justice work. Remarks will also be given by former Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Featured Speaker

Full Schedule

  • 2:00pm - 3:30pm: “Minnesota’s Complicated Human Rights History” Panel Discussion, Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120
  • 4:00pm - 4:45pm: Unguided tours of the exhibit, “Global Reach of Local Activism: Minnesota’s Human Rights Stories,” Elmer L. Andersen Library, 2nd floor
  • 5:00pm: Keynote Address by Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy, Harvard University
  • 6:15pm: Reception and tours of the exhibit

All events are free and open to the public. However, registration is requested.

Additional Event Speakers

2:00pm Session

Loretta Frederick has focused her legal career on domestic violence, especially the family court’s response to those cases, and has practiced family law with legal services in Minnesota. Assisting and training NGOs and policymakers around the world, Frederick has helped develop toolkits, guidelines, and international standards for practitioners, courts, and judges handling domestic abuse and intimate partner violence cases.

Emliy Hutchinson is an attorney whose work has brought her to governments, constitutional courts, and civil society organizations in the U.S., Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans. Hutchinson has worked on issues ranging from human rights and post-conflict governance to economic development and appellate advocacy, and has guest lectured at American University Washington College of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. Hutchinson currently serves on the board of the Story Orchard.

A graduate from the Master's of Human Rights Program, Myers became the Minneapolis NAACP's youngest president when she was elected in 2020. Myers has received numerous fellowships and awards for her advocacy and leadership work in racial justice and helped to coordinate the UN- Expert Mechanism on Law Enforcement and Racism's visit to Minneapolis in April 2023. Myers now attends the University of Miami Law, sits as the board chair for the Minnesota Freedom Fund Action, and works as an advisory board member of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence.

Barbara Frey is an International Human Rights Law Consultant and former Director of the Human Rights Program. From 1985 through 1996 Frey was Executive Director of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. Frey speaks and publishes regularly on human rights topics including forms of international human rights advocacy, migration and human rights, and firearms and human rights. Frey has served in various positions related to human rights, in non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as well as academic institutions, and has received widespread recognition for her work in international human rights, women's rights, and foreign policy.

5:00pm Session

Mark Ritchie was the Minnesota Secretary of State from 2007-2015. After his time in office, Ritchie became the President of Global Minnesota where he strengthened relations with consular offices of Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Ritchie was honored as “Partner of the Year” by Minnesota Africans United in 2021 and is currently part of the Minnesota USA Expo 2031 Steering Committee and the board chair for the World's Fair Bid Committee Educational Fund.


The Global Reach of Local Activism is presented by the Human Rights Program, the University Archives and Special Collections, and the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice with support from the Human Rights Initiative, the Imagine Events Grant, Ohanessian Fund for Justice and Peace Studies, and Huntington Bank.

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