We caught up with Ta’Mara Hill as she completed her Master of Human Rights degree in spring 2021. She is originally from Hutchinson, Kansas, and earned a BA in sociology with minors in psychology and social work from the historically Black Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
Tell us more about your background.
As an undergraduate at Wiley, I was honored to be a Walton-UNCF Education Reform Fellow, All Star Ambassador with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and a national champion member of the Denzel Washington/Melvin B. Tolson Debate Society. These three experiences greatly influenced my decisions to attend policy school. Originally, I was supposed to be a member of the Humphrey School’s 2020 graduating class; I deferred for a year to complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Athens, Greece.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be an Urban Scholar within the Government Relations Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. There I will be assisting with the development of legislative initiatives, researching legislation, and assisting the Legislative Coordinator.
What are your longer-term goals?
I'd like to have a career that takes me to a lot of different places. I would like to work in Washington, DC for a while and then eventually move back to Australia or Europe, or live in Africa for the first time. My research and priorities in policy have focused both on the intersectionality of identities in human rights and how foreign affairs and national security policies impact those rights. So, wherever I end up, I hope it's someplace that still allows me to think about these things and advocate for global human rights.
Why did you choose to attend the Humphrey School?
I applied to the Humphrey School because it offers one of the only human rights degrees in the country. I decided to enroll because I was awarded a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, which funded my education.
What were your best experiences from your time at the Humphrey School?
I enjoyed being able to meet professors and mentors who helped me develop details of my career vision and expectations. Mary Curtin, Janet Walsh, and Steve Andreasen provided vital mentorship and support that expanded my understanding of my career field and pushed me as a scholar and practitioner. I am grateful for the access to real-world practitioners who also believe in supporting young professionals.
Finally, being able to build a relationship with my peers in my MHR cohort and the Humphrey Students of Color Association (HSOCA) has been invaluable. They are wonderful, caring, and passionate people. The Humphrey School is better with them enrolled and I'm proud to be in a graduating class with them.