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Sarah Holehouse, Duke '26

What year are you and what are you studying?

I’m a freshman planning to major in Political Science with the Human Rights Certificate!

Why did you decide to work at the Duke Human Rights Center?

I’ve been passionate about human rights long before coming to Duke, so I knew that as soon as I got to campus I wanted to get involved with human rights work. Working with the human rights center seemed to me like the perfect opportunity to pursue human rights in a way beyond what I am used to with running a student group or pursuing other grassroots activism. It’s also a great way to meet other like-minded students and staff.

What human rights issues are you interested in?

I’m interested in pretty much every human rights issue, but I find myself being most passionate about mass incarceration, reproductive rights, refugee and migrant rights, systemic inequality, and climate justice.

How have you interacted with human rights in the past?

I was really involved with human rights all throughout high school. I founded my high school’s chapter of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) and ran it for three years, coordinating more than 25 activism projects. For two years, I served as AIUSA’s Student Activist Coordinator for South Carolina where I helped strengthen other student groups in the area. Over the summer, I worked for AIUSA’s Youth and Student Program, advancing a variety of projects designed to support youth activism. And currently, I am in my second year on AIUSA’s National Youth Collective, a youth leadership body that provides guidance on increasing youth activism in the organization and writes AIUSA’s organizational youth strategy. I am also in my first year as an AIUSA peer trainer where I put on national, virtual trainings for our activists to learn crucial activism skills. 

How do you plan on using human rights beyond your time at Duke?

I am looking to pursue a career in human rights non-profit work so that I can continue my passion for human rights full-time. Beyond professionally, I consider myself a lifelong activist and will continue to stand up for human rights whenever I can.