I had been committed to working in human rights from a young age (having two South African parents who lived through Apartheid will do that to you!). Though ardent as I was, I didn’t have a clear picture of how to translate that passion into a career.
I was drawn to Goldsmith’s MA Human Rights, Social Justice and Culture for its interdisciplinary approach, which frames human rights as more than just enforceable legal rights and identifies the many forces and actors at play.
On 'Practicing Human Rights', we were encouraged to find a volunteership at an NGO. Each host organization was different and unique, but having a meaningful impact in the context it operated in. Throughout the semester, we met as a class to reflect on our separate immersive learning journeys and were able to craft one invaluable shared understanding of how organisations operate in the sector.
I obtained my placement at Amnesty International and when it ended, I was offered a permanent position as the Coordinator of Global Strategy and Impact. Our team designed Amnesty’s future strategy process and strengthened the organisation’s capacity in impact assessment and project management.
I stayed at Amnesty for three years before moving back home to Canada early on in the pandemic. I was motivated to set up a local non-profit, to bridge an essential support gap for my community. Canadian stimulus packages overlooked our society’s most vulnerable, so that’s where I focused our support. The non-profit provides essential food, medical and hygiene items to low- and no-income households in Toronto.
Goldsmiths has played such a pivotal role in my journey: from opening my eyes to the complexities of change, to nurturing key skill development in critical thinking and adaptability. I highly recommend this Masters degree to anyone who wants to discover what role they can play in the human rights field.