Highlighting human rights issues
Jeremy Holt ’20 conducts research, interviews for Nosapo Inc. internship
Hometown: Watertown, Mass.
Majors: English, international relations
Winternship: Nosapo Inc. (remote)
Funding source: Porter Cleveland Fund
Prior experience: “I first volunteered for Nosapo in the summer of 2018. I had asked Matt Wheeler at the Filene Center if he had any suggestions of things I could do in the short time between my two semesters abroad, and he suggested Nosapo to me. My winternship this January [working remotely from home] was a continuation of the summer’s work.”
Going deep: “Nosapo’s a nonprofit promoting human rights education. I wrote an in-depth report about human rights abuses and migrancy in the Darfur region of Sudan 15 years after the start of the war there. I also interviewed two human rights activists—journalist Wolfgang Bauer and educator/Wheaton Otis Social Justice Award alumnus Robert Katende—about their stories for the Nosapo ‘Inspiration Compilation,’ which is also online.”
Complex content: “Coming up with a concise, cohesive narrative about Darfur was tough. It’s a conflict with few clear-cut lines, and I had to constantly keep track of my assumptions to make sure I was presenting the situation accurately.”
Setting course: “President Hanno’s ‘Innovation and Social Change in Ghana’ program helped me learn a great deal about African politics and society by actually putting me in an African country and making me interact with people and do work there—it was a great experience. In addition, the ‘African Political Thought’ course I took abroad at University of Cape Town, the ‘Post-Cold War Conflict Resolution’ course at University of Haifa, and Professor Javier Trevino’s ‘Organized Crime’ course at Wheaton gave me more theoretical background to the situations I researched.”
A place to start: “I enjoyed that I was able to do grassroots work on international issues. When it comes to topics such as conflicts, migration and human rights, we tend to think of them as diplomats’ domain, not something ordinary people usually have much of a voice in. Nosapo certainly overturned that assumption for me.”
Looking outward: “I hope to end up at some point in the U.S. Foreign Service or another U.S. foreign policy organization in Africa. Researching for Nosapo has helped me build my knowledge of a number of different regional contexts that I might run into in the future, and it’s also helped my networking and negotiation skills, which are very helpful in diplomacy.”
Jeremy serves as a delegate on the Wheaton Model United Nations team and will chair the General Assembly for the high school “WheaMUN” conference in April. He plays clarinet and alto saxophone in Wheaton’s World Music Ensemble and the baritone saxophone in the Southeastern Massachusetts Wind Symphony. He previously interned at the University of Haifa Office of the Spokesperson while abroad in Israel, in fall 2018.