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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogging the UN: Reporting on the Social Good Summit

Amanda Kruger, a senior studying political science and history, was selected to blog about the UN’s goals on sustainability in New York City as part of its “Social Good Summit,” involving student activists in promoting positive global change.
In conjunction with the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations, the Social Good Summit brought together in New York individuals from around the world with the goal of communicating and reporting about the newest goals set forth by the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals. The general theme of the summit was to bring attention to the role that everyone has in making effective change and to bring these new goals of bettering the world to light. Through discussions with a wide range of individuals—from Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren to high office holders within the United Nations to advocates from non-governmental organizations—participants learned hands-on the importance of the interconnected world and individuals’ impacts on it. 

As a Social Good Blogger Fellow at the summit, Amanda also worked to interpret and frame the discussions and information in a format for social media effective in engaging others and transmitting the new set of goals. An active member in Model United Nations since her freshman year in high school, Amanda believes that this was a great opportunity for her to witness and report on international talks of the global future and apply the skills she has developed in a real-world setting. Though the summit was not specifically focused on promoting human rights, she notes that it nevertheless had a strong presence with discussions focusing on women’s rights, health rights, and environmental rights. Furthermore, the general idea of the new set of goals is that we cannot progress until we adopt and further the rights to all, and the real challenge where everyone can play an impact is bringing the goals home to each of their communities.

For her future plans, Amanda is currently in the process of applying to law schools and to public policy programs with an international dimension. Ultimately, her career goals are to make a lasting impact to improve the lives of others through international policy making. For students interested in human rights work or international involvement, Amanda recommends joining groups or organizations in and around campus. From campus groups supporting micro financing, UNICEF, and the Peace Corps, there are many ways for individuals to apply their interests in a productive environment.