One of the more unique and insightful organizations on campus, the International Human Rights Organization focuses on “increasing awareness, educating others and actively working to decrease human rights violations in our community and around the world.”
IHRO teaches members about local and global human rights issues. It allows students to actively participate in the issues in order to make positive changes.
This organization acknowledges that human rights issues are a global and a local issue. There are ways in which people can contribute to the cause on either scale, so there’s no reason to think that living in Grand Forks, means limiting your options to contribute.
Although IHRO is primarily based out of the law school, all UND students are welcome.
IHRO events are based on membership interest and response to current events. It is always looking grow its membership. IHRO has put on events to help foster more awareness of human rights issues, such as a tour of community violence intervention center and “documentary nights covering sexual violence in the USA and human rights issues for LGBTQ people in Cameroon.”
They also hold buzz sessions on various hot topics, most notably the Dakota Access Pipeline, which happens to be a noteworthy example of human rights issues faced in North Dakota.
One of the great things about IHRO is that they’re always looking for ways to build community at UND. Other student organizations work with IHRO to get diverse perspectives on human rights. There’s never that feeling that only one major or one area of the student body is more welcome than another. Human rights issues are a global problem and therefore requires a global response from all walks of life. It’s something everyone should be more involved in. No one is excluded from the conversation or contributing to the solution.
One of IHRO’s goals is to always find new ways to advocate for human rights. They look to find ways to positively affect the UND community.
They’re always looking for more ways to further the cause so nothing is out of bounds. They seek to give UND students more ways to get involved, whether it be a letter writing campaign for Amnesty International or a Green Dot training.
The path to a more inclusive and progressive world can be trying but not impossible. Oppression is present in every community in one way or another and even if you’re part of the two percent that isn’t affected by it, it’s important to acknowledge that there are others who live in a much more dangerous world because of their race, gender or heritage.
It’s not always apparent, the need for human rights advocates. Most of the time it can feel like there’s little that can be done to affect change but organizations like IHRO who look at these problems and try to get people interested in the idea of finding a way to help are invaluable. They understand that any individual has the power to change the world one kind deed at a time. It just takes willpower and opportunity. This is an organization dedicated to supplying you with that opportunity, so feel free to take advantage and use their resources to go after an area of human rights you are passionate about.
It’s no longer necessary to wonder “What can I do to get involved?” because there is already an organization in place dedicated to offering you opportunities to be a part of a movement that will revolutionize human rights issues for future generations.
This article serves as some insight into what IHRO is about.
Elizabeth Fequiere is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]