Last week, we welcomed our newest CPJ policy intern, Rebekah Sears to the office. Rebekah is a native of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and so brings an East Coast perspective to CPJ’s office. She was raised in a home where political participation was strongly encouraged (if not required!), and where the role of faith in such actions was emphasized. From a young age, this foundation transpired into a passion for social justice and human rights, both in Canada and around the world, which has shaped many of her activities and interests.
Throughout university, Bekah pursued these interests by focusing her studies on conflict and crimes against humanity. At the University of New Brunswick, her research focused on the Holocaust, other genocides or recent crimes against humanity, and the groups and individuals who stood against such actions. She graduated with a BA in History in the area of modern European and world history in 2006.
This past spring, Bekah graduated from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa with an MA in International Affairs. While at NPSIA, she conducted research on post-conflict or transitional societies and the challenges for picking up the pieces in the aftermath of war or poor governance.
In between these two programs, Bekah spent time in Rwanda working as an intern with the faith-based NGO African Enterprise. Throughout the course of a year she worked with various projects in Rwanda, including ethnic reconciliation, sustainable development, education, and capacity building within communities across the country. She found it a very rewarding and challenging year, and the experience was invaluable in shaping her life and interests to what they are today.
Last year, while at NPSIA, she also worked part-time in the office of Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate. Speaker Kinsella is involved in many human rights initiatives, which gave Bekah the chance to explore human rights in action.
We are excited about bringing Bekah’s passion for and expertise on human rights to our work on poverty and human dignity. Her experience living and working abroad will also provide valuable perspective to CPJ’s work on diversity.
We’re glad to have you join us this year, Bekah, and we look forward to working with you!
Loyal readers of this blog can look forward to getting to know Bekah soon too, as she begins to blog about CPJ’s work on socio-economic issues and diversity, as well as some of her own areas of interest around human rights, faith and public life, and inspiration from the grassroots.