Hello, JRLC supporters! My name is Rebecca Mendelsohn, and I recently began an internship here at JRLC. I am originally from New York and currently study Political Science and Human Rights/Humanitarianism at Macalester College.
For as long as I can remember I have been deeply frustrated by inequality. This fundamental conviction has led me to pursue as many volunteer, mentorship, and internship opportunities as possible. Simultaneously, I have done my best to develop this passion from an academic standpoint as well. Eventually, my desire to help others led me to JRLC.
My biggest take away from my time at JRLC thus far has been my heightened appreciation for all of the behind the scenes work that goes into social justice advocacy. Change does not just happen. It takes time and effort. It takes the endless dedication of an ambitious cohort of people. I have also quickly learned that advancing social justice work is possible in many ways. For example, I recently completed a brief research project on the relationship between what state citizens pay in taxes, and how much state programs cost. This project is intended to inform community members where exactly their money is going within the state. The driving thought behind this was to increase awareness on what specific program areas Minnesotans should be advocating for in terms of increasing, or decreasing, levels of state funding. To me, this project serves as an example of how a seemingly unrelated venture can have a direct, and substantial effect on social justice work.
Looking forward, and thinking in terms of long-term career goals, I know I want to continue to dedicate myself to human rights work. In what capacity, though, I’m not quite sure. What I do know is that JRLC has, and is, providing me with an invaluable plethora of skills. Skills I will be able to utilize in many different contexts concerning human rights and social justice work in the future.
--Rebecca Mendelsohn, Macalester '16 (yes, I play ice hockey -- a goalie!)