News and Events
Natural Connection: Adiyah Ali Brings a Personal Touch to Human Rights
"Dorm Mom." That's how Adiyah Ali (M '04, SPP) describes her former role as resident director assistant in the Pepperdine undergraduate dorms. Such responsibility might seem unpleasant at best for a busy graduate student, but this was not a just a job for Ali. It was her inspiration and source of energy.
"I was able to connect with many young college students, offer them advice about studies, career aspirations, and so forth," Ali explains. "I could see myself in them. I wanted them to take advantage of the same opportunities that I had-to excel in education, gain international and cross-cultural experiences, study hard, and have fun."
This passion for personal interaction has always been an integral part of Ali's nature. At the School of Public Policy she specialized in international relations, stemming from her fascination with diverse languages, cultures, people, and geographies. An active member of the student organization Women in Public Policy, Ali felt encouraged among other dynamic women. They influenced her to strive towards making higher education and work opportunities accessible for women throughout the world.
Ali channels this energy in her current job as a field organizer for Amnesty International's Southern Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia, where she serves as the lead Amnesty representative in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. On a daily basis she works with Amnesty leaders to develop events and campaigns on human rights issues, recruit new Amnesty groups and volunteers, and support members with advice and resources. Ali is also charged with continuously enhancing her own knowledge and expertise on topics in the states she oversees, including human rights concerns and local and state legislation concerning human rights. She is among many Amnesty International advocates who dedicate a significant part of their lives to helping people they may never know.
The current position is not Ali's first stint with Amnesty International; she was an intern, then project assistant with the organization while she was an undergraduate at Roanoke College. After completing her master's degree in public policy at Pepperdine, she became the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office administrator in Washington, D.C. With these various responsibilities, Ali did what she does best: establish relationships and connect with staff, members, and other organizations to be effective in her day-to-day work.
Demonstrating these great interpersonal skills helped Ali earn her promotion to field organizer in October 2006. "I thrive off of the energy of people who recognize that there can never be peace if justice isn't present; and justice will forever be absent if human rights are not respected and protected," she says.
Ali plans to begin work on her doctoral degree and continue organizing in the human rights field. She hopes to see more people of color in Amnesty International, making it more reflective of our rich, diverse, multicultural, and interesting world.
by Christina Ramirez
Originally published in Pepperdine Voice