In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words is a regular feature profiling HRI staff and volunteers who describe, in their own words, their experiences working in the field of human rights.

Lianne Alutto, Volunteer Coordinator

Describe what you do at HRI.
I communicate with all of HRI’s wonderful volunteers.  I organize Continued Legal Education courses for attorneys who are interested in taking a case with us pro bono and, ultimately, place them with a case that matches their interests.  I take care of any interpretation/translation needs our clients may have by finding volunteer translators.  I also coordinate internships and academic service learning opportunities, as well as continue to find creative ways any interested individual can become a volunteer and get involved.

When did you join HRI?
I joined HRI on February 15, 2010.

How did you first become interested in human rights issues?
Human rights issues were first brought to my attention during my freshman year of college, when Invisible Children, another nonprofit, held an awareness event called “Displace Me” to bring the plight of LRA child soldiers and their displaced family members in Uganda to the public eye.  The passion of the student participants and the immense support of the student body in general motivated me to learn more, get involved, and ultimately be more aware of global human rights issues.

What do you think is the most pressing human rights issue facing the world today?
I’m not sure I could pinpoint just one most pressing issue.  The root of so many human rights abuses tends to exist between two serious problems: poverty, corrupt authorities, or both.  Right now, the most important thing we can do is educate ourselves on these issues.  At the very least we should be more aware and be willing to step outside our comfort zones to be advocates for putting an end to whichever human rights issue strikes a chord in our hearts.

What’s the story behind the picture you chose of yourself?
This picture was taken in Austin, TX during the SXSW music festival.  Besides being involved in different charitable causes and nonprofits, I dedicate a lot of my time to supporting musical arts.  There’s really no deep meaning or story behind this photo, other than the fact that I first took one just like it three years ago, and just for fun, I take a new one each spring during SXSW.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments!

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