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  • Opportunity for Students: 2017 Children of Incarcerated Caregivers Paid Internship

    Children of Incarcerated Caregivers (CIC) is seeking a team of interdisciplinary students from the University of Minnesota and Macalester College for a paid, part-time, three-month summer internship, from May 30 to August 25, 2017. Founded in 2014, CIC is a Minneapolis-based non-profit dedicated to researching and advocating for policies and programs that improve the lives of children whose caregivers are affected by the criminal justice system in the United States and abroad. There are four positions available:

    Research Intern (1 position): Responsibilities include updating past CIC reports on the impact of parental incarceration on children and visitation policies, as well as generating memos and summaries to aide defense attorneys in court. The research intern must have a strong background in generating comprehensive literature reviews and the ability to interpret complex social science research. Depending on summer work and CIC needs, the research intern may be invited to continue to intern part-time with CIC during the 2017-18 academic year. For this position only, please submit a writing sample (5-10 pages) along with your regular application materials.

    Community Engagement Interns (3 positions): Responsibilities include networking and collaborating with other organizations with overlapping missions, and building connections at the local, domestic, and international level. Fluency in a second language will be especially valuable as many potential partner organizations are outside of the US. In addition, these community engagement interns will identify the most pervasive unmet needs that Minnesota children of incarcerated caregivers face, determine what programs would best serve these children, and promote access to visits for Minnesota children.

    The summer research project will culminate in a written report that details next steps for CIC, including a plan for funding, next steps toward advancing Minnesota sentencing practices, and promoting access for Minnesota children visiting caregivers at correctional facilities. This report will guide CIC work in 2017-18 and the intern team will present their recommendations at the University of Minnesota in September 2017.

    The team will work under the auspices of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Program. Interns will work remotely, but have office space when needed at the Human Rights Program. Team members will meet regularly as a group to receive feedback and direction from University of Minnesota faculty from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts, Macalester faculty, as well as CIC board members with experience in criminal justice, child development, and human rights issues.

    Qualifications: Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students with knowledge of human rights, public policy, law, psychology, sociology, or other programs related to the issues affecting children of incarcerated caregivers will be considered. Candidates must have demonstrated research and writing skills. Fluency in Spanish and/or successful experience with grant writing are especially desirable qualifications and will be weighed heavily in the selection process.

    Application deadline: March 31, 2017. Applicants should email their résumé and cover letter to Rochelle Hammer ( If applying for the Research Intern position, please include a 5-10 page writing sample with your application.

    Commitment: 20 hours per week, May 30 – August 25, 2017, plus September 2017 public presentation (date TBD).

    Stipend and notes on funding mechanism: Undergraduate students will earn a stipend of $3,000.00 and graduate students will earn a stipend of $4,500.00 for the summer internship.

    (Continue Reading)March 10th, 2017
  • Call for Nominations: 2017 Human Rights Awards

    Each, spring, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies celebrates the tremendous work of University of Minnesota undergraduate students in human rights by presenting the Inna Meiman Human Rights Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award.

    Inna Meiman Award

    Given in recognition of the friendship between Inna Meiman, a Soviet era Jewish refusenik who was repeatedly denied a visa to seek medical treatment, and Lisa Paul, a graduate of the University of Minnesota who fought tirelessly on her behalf, including a 25-day hunger strike that galvanized a movement for Inna's freedom. The friendship between Lisa Paul and Inna Meiman is memorialized in the book, Swimming in the Daylight: An American Student, a Soviet-Jewish Dissident, and the Gift of Hope. The award of $1000 is intended to recognize a University of Minnesota student who embodies a commitment to human rights.

    Sullivan Ballou Award 

    Supported by the Sullivan Ballou Fund and named after Major Sullivan Ballou, an Army solider killed at the First Battle of Bull Run in the U. S. Civil War, this award honors Major Ballou's memory by recognizing a student who devotes heartfelt energy to promote human rights. The Sullivan Ballou Fund gives $1000 awards to celebrate and affirm people acting from the heart. They provide compassion, services, or advocacy to their local communities, the poor, homeless, children, victim of violence and mistreatment or the disabled. Some give of themselves to those around them through their art, their music, their words, or their presence.

    What are the selection criteria?

    • The awards are open to all full-time undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota
    • The student has demonstrated a personal commitment to the promotion and protection of international human rights through significant work on a human rights cause during their time as an undergraduate
    • Through their efforts, the student as raised the visibility of a particular human rights issue among the University community or the broader public
    • The student has made a positive difference in the life of others, and has given a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard

    How do I nominate someone/myself?
    • Nominators should submit a letter of 750 words or less describing the human rights activities undertaken by the nominee during their time at the U of M, a resume of the student nominated, as well as a personal statement by the nominated student
    • Self-nominations also need a statement of 750 words or less, a resume, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member, or a peer that can attest to the achievements of the nominee
    • Nominations are due March 31st, 2017 to Rochelle Hammer via email at
    • The awards will be given out at a luncheon ceremony on Friday, April 28th, 2017

    Contact Rochelle Hammer at or 612.626.7947
    (Continue Reading)March 10th, 2017
  • Program kicks off annual lecture series focusing on “Principled Voices”

    A few weeks ago, the Program was pleased to welcome Armenian Parliamentarian, Edmon Marukyan, to the University to present the inaugural lecture, “Fighting corruption and advocating for human rights in Armenia,” of a new annual lecture series. The series “Principled Voices,” supported by the Stephen and Chacke Scallen Lecture in Human Rights Fund, is designed to highlight leaders and thinkers who distinguish themselves by carrying out their passion for human rights, cultural awareness, democratic principles, fairness, and dignity, often at great odds and great personal risk. 

    Mr. Marukyan, member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, lawyer, longtime defender of human rights and former Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Law School, spoke of the many challenges to the promotion and protection of human rights in Armenia, citing government corruption as presenting some of the most deeply entrenched challenges. While promises to tackle the corruption go largely unfulfilled, Mr. Marukyan sees strong hope and broad efforts within the parliamentary system to strengthen the democratic process. The need is great as the negative impacts of the corruption extend not only to the protection of human rights but also to the government system overall.

    Responding to various questions from the audience, Mr. Marukyan spoke of the importance of the Armenian diaspora in the United States and its supporters in using their expertise and resources - financial and otherwise - to engaging with Armenian organizations, officials and civil society. Through continued efforts inside of Armenia and with support from the diaspora, Mr. Marukayn is hopeful that lasting change can be made to root out the corruption and improve the overall environment for support of human rights.

    The Program looks forward to bringing more principled voices to campus in the future and to providing courageous human rights advocates with an opportunity to continue speaking out. Stephen and Chacke Scallen, supporters of the lecture series, are focused on shedding light on corruption in governments, businesses, churches, and other institutions that challenge the full realization of human rights and as we know too well, can often lead to the erasure or near-erasure of cultures. Chacke Scallen’s abiding interest in human rights and cultural awareness was borne out of her family’s experience of having fled the Armenian genocide. We are so grateful to the Scallens for making this lecture series possible. Stay tuned for announcements on the next lecture coming in 2017-18.

    -Written by Trish Palermo  
    (Continue Reading)February 23rd, 2017

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Upcoming Events

External Human Rights Events

  • Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop Public Reading Organized by Human Rights Scribe

    On Saturday, October 24th, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW) will hold a reading at Hamline University. The reading, organized by MFA candidate Mike Alberti as part of the Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, will feature the work of several writers currently incarcerated in Minnesota state correctional facilities. MPWW instructors will read pieces of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction on behalf of their students, and two formerly incarcerated alumni of MPWW classes will read their own work aloud for the first time. 

    This is a free reading, open to the public, so please come and invite a friend. A short Q&A and informal discussion will follow. Plus, there will be snacks! It’s sure to be a very powerful evening. We hope you can make it!

    Where:  Hamline University,
                  Klas Center, Kay Fredericks Room
                 1537 Taylor Avenue
                 St. Paul, MN 55104

    When:  Saturday, October 24th, 2015, 7:00 PM

    To learn more about MPWW and their work, please visit
    (Continue Reading)October 19th, 2015

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