From Social Justice at NDA to Social Activism for the UN

For Notre Dame Arts graduate Melissa, it was a dream come true to be the only Colombian journalist selected to participate in the United Nations RAF Journalism Fellowship in New York and land her dream job at the UN.

“It was incredible being one of 15 journalists to witness the top of diplomatic relations at the General Assembly, meeting with Presidents and interviewing Senior Officials,” Melissa said.

Now working as a public information officer for the UN as part of the Verification Mission in Colombia, Melissa reports on the reintegration of former guerrillas – many of whom have never known a life beyond conflict – into society and monitors their security guarantees.

My social justice major gave me the opportunity to understand the world, how we can reduce inequalities and change others’ perspectives with education in human rights.

“All my teachers and class mates were incredible. They were so helpful and patient given English was tricky as my second language.”

In the future, Melissa says she hopes to continue her work with the UN and her writing on issues affecting Afro-descendent and Indigenous communities, women’s rights and civic engagement.

Inspired? Find out more about the studying Social Justice at Notre Dame.

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