Having created her own internship, Connie Mandeville ’12 is working with the Clinton County Human Rights Commission in Plattsburg, N.Y., this summer. Mandeville is a history and women’s studies dual major, and saw the Clinton County Human Rights Commission as a great organization that works to help the people of the area fight against discrimination. Before spring break, Mandeville contacted the founding members of the commission and offered her services. The members were excited at the prospect of having an eager and ambitious individual join their team for the summer so, after an interview during spring break, Mandeville was given the position of junior communications supervisor.
The Clinton County Human Rights Commission helps foster a common respect and understanding among those of a diverse group (in terms of race, religion, nationality and more) within the county. People turn to the commission to figure out if there has been a breach in their human rights -if they have been discriminated against because of their sex, age, sexual orientation, race, etc. When a claim has been made, the commission either takes action or offers suggestions to a solution.
Mandeville understands that social justice work, and advocating for civil rights, is not the easiest of jobs, or even the best paying, but her heart is not interested in what the job can do for her, but what she can do for it. She is an advocate of social justice, and involves herself in such efforts while on campus. She has been engaged in countless LGBT, feminist movement, and social justice ally conferences. Her course work in women’s studies and learning about the history of human rights in the United States has prepared her for the internship.