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Chelsea Akyeampong, a Master of Arts candidate in the Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights program at American University’s School of International Services. She hopes to learn from her colleagues and further network with other aspiring professionals in the international human rights field to accomplish her mission in supporting vulnerable and underrepresented people. As a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chelsea specialized in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa in which she focused on various modern African political ideologies that have shaped the continent today. This is reflected in her thesis, “Sustaining Pan-Africanism for the Hope of a United States of Africa,” in which she analyzed the rise of Pan-Africanism and its transition from a social movement to its political use in the continent’s nationalist and independence movements. During her undergraduate career, Chelsea studied French in Paris and improved her language skills in Cameroon as a student in SIT’s (School for International Learning) Development, Modernization, and Social Change program. It was in Cameroon that Chelsea developed her passion for working with underrepresented and vulnerable populations as she interned with a local humanitarian organization, RESPECT Cameroon. After graduating from UNL in 2020, she became more involved in her local community in Nebraska as a case manager in the child welfare system by ensuring the safety and well-being of children and their families. She also worked as a case manager at Lutheran Family Services where she advocated for and supported fathers who faced obstacles such as the foster care/child welfare system or toxic relationships with their children’s mothers which proved difficult in becoming more involved in their children’s lives. As the Humanitarian Policy and Practice intern at InterAction during the Fall 2022 semester, she was able to learn more about the protection sector of humanitarian affairs in which she hopes to further explore protecting children from conflict itself, protecting women and girls from being sexually exploited and abused, and empowering displaced families in their host communities as a long-term solution to protracted displacement. Chelsea hopes to transfer her skills and knowledge to an international stage as she advocates for displaced families’ rights through her work with humanitarian and development organizations.
In her free time, Chelsea likes to visit museums of art, culture, and history as well as read African literature in which her favorite book is In the Palace of Flowers by Victoria Princewill. You will find her around DC visiting new food hotspots!