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International Studies Major Travels to Geneva Summit with Carter Center

March 2017

lauren ruffinLauren Ruffin, C’2017, recently attended the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Switzerland, as part of a delegation from the Carter Center in Atlanta. The annual conference, held Feb. 19-23, brought together human rights victims, activists, dissidents, former political prisoners, diplomats, journalists and student leaders to shine a spotlight on urgent human rights issues that require global attention. 

Ruffin, an international studies major, is an intern in the Democracy Program at the Carter Center. She is fluent in Spanish and advanced in Portuguese. During the spring of 2016, Ruffin studied law and economics at one of Brazil's most rigorous institutions, Fundação Getulio Vargas, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During her semester abroad, she volunteered as a teacher's assistant to teach English to children from favela (low-income) communities at a local elementary school.lauren ruffin

While at the summit, she provided research and took notes during the Human Rights and Election Standards workshop, which was hosted by the Carter Center and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. She called the summit “an extremely insightful experience” that enhanced her Spelman education and helps to prepare her for a career that involves advocacy work in international human rights and women’s rights. 

“I learned a lot about the process of international social development in terms of promoting Democratic governments and upholding human rights,” Ruffin said. “Overall, the conference was an amazing opportunity that I will take with me throughout my career.”

Later this month, she will travel to Montreal, Canada, with the Spelman College Model United Nations Team. 

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