University of Minnesota




Location of Organization/Basic Contact Information:




Contact: Rochelle Hammer

Program Associate
Human Rights Program
University of Minnesota
214 Social Sciences
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Tel: 612-626-7947
Fax: 612-626-2242


Organization Mission Statement:

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights is a network collaborating to promote and protect international human rights both in the United States and abroad.


Members of this Organization Include:

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) - Toledo:

American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois:



American Friends Service Committee – Great Lakes Regional Office, Chicago, IL:

Amnesty International USA – Midwest Office:

Center for Civil and Human Rights – Notre Dame Law School:

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies - University of Minnesota:

Center for International Human Rights – Northwestern University School of Law:  Chicago, IL:

Center for Victims of Torture: Minneapolis, MN:

Centre on Housing and Eviction Rights - United States Office:

Chicago Religious Leadership Network:

Children and Family Justice Center – Northwestern University School of Law:

Citizens Alert:

Coalition to Protect Public Housing:

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago :

Council on Crime and Justice:

Enlaces América :

Freedom House – Detroit

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights

Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago

Human Rights Program – University of Dayton

Human Rights Program – University of Minnesota

International Human Rights Law Institute – DePaul University College of Law

International Women's Rights Action Watch

Justice for Our Neighbors - Nebraska

Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights

National Immigrant Justice Center

Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest

Program in International Human Rights Law – Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis

University of Iowa Center for Human Rights

University of Minnesota Human Rights Center

Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights – University of Cincinnati College of Law

What are the basic goals of the organization?



The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights will…

Does the organization have a long-term goal(s)?  A 5- or 10-year plan?


Founded 1995, founded by a Minneapolisite and Chicagoan. 

Midwest Coalition is developing a three-year plan (to start 2007).  Two years ago, the program received funding for collaboration within the coalition on regional human rights issues.  The allocation created a forum to collaborate more and more easily.  By use of a conference with the Coalition, two issues were decided:

            Immigrant detention


            Meatpacker’s Rights

Subsequently, the Coalition and Heartland Alliance collaborated for additional funding and hired a Field Coordinator.  The three year plan includes the development of both one- and three-year plans for each of those issues in advocacy. 


In addition to the three key issues, the Coalition would like to build a more cohesive regional human rights network.   Within three years, a new directive will be set as well. 


This organization does some international issue work, as well.    


Describe a “day in the life” of the organization?  What basically is accomplished by employees and volunteers on a daily basis?


The Coalition specifically employs a Field Coordinator (to address the three goals): Combined with the steering committee and the key project leaders are working together to develop the work plans.  The Field Coordinator’s responsibility will be to completely organize and carry out the three programs.  The Field Coordinator works with the visions of the leaders of the Coalition organizations and synthesizes concrete objectives for the plans, identifying resources, obtaining the resources, and kicking off the projects. 


Since this is a Coalition, there are many job opportunities with Coalition members.  Most include educational and legal services:

            -Undergraduate education focus

            -Legal expertise

            -Direct service

            -Legislative Advocacy

            -Community Networking

            -Faith-based Advocacy

The purposes of the Coalition include:

• providing more opportunities for volunteers to contribute their time and expertise on concrete projects and cases that promote and protect human rights;
• increasing leverage on policy makers in the U.S. and other countries;
• providing broader visibility for human rights issues and for the member groups;
• expanding the constituency for international human rights;
• cross-training on human rights issues and activities to maximize the impact of work;
• sharing experience in administrative, organizational and policy matters.

Who does this organization employ? (i.e. Graduate degrees; only grant writing background, etc).  Why?


Basic skill set includes:

            -Undergraduate degree (minimum)

            -Prior working and internship experience with Human Rights organizations


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?


-University posting

-Posted on website

-Posted to listserv

-These positions are rarely posted in newspapers


1.  Does this organization take volunteers?


What are the expectations/minimum requirements for volunteers in this organization?


Yes, at the association level.  Each of these would have to be decided at the particular office. 


2.  Does this organization take interns?


What are the expectations/minimum requirements to obtain an internship with this organization? 


Students who are currently pursuing graduate or law degrees, and upper-level undergraduate students.  The internship was awarded a stipend between $3000-$3500. 


At the Coalition level there are interns and then internal interns within the smaller organizations.  The interns attended the Fall Retreat and contributed to the work plans.  They were primarily there to help with the effort on the regional level. 


3.  Are there employment opportunities at this organization? 


What are the basic requirements for this organization for any employee hired to address human rights?


At the association level, there are always employment opportunities.  These will have to be explored at the association level. 





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