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Lara Hicks: From Bemidji to the United Nations

Lara Hicks

Bemidji High School grad discusses her work at the United Nations, her journey, and hope for the future.

…we had an event yesterday on inclusive forms of advocacy and pathways for making advocacy spaces more inclusive of women and girls… their voices aren't often brought to the table, and if they are, they need to be listened to... It's not enough just to have someone be the token representation and then you move on and you never solve the problem… advocacy is not one size fits all, and different women and girls that I've spoken with have highlighted that, which I think is really an important point …The way we think of organizing and instituting change here in the United States is completely different in different parts of the world…The only way you can learn about different forms of advocacy, advocating for human rights and what that looks like in different contexts is to ask people and to learn from them and to ensure that their voices make it to places of power, even in this kind of hybrid virtual world we're living in right now. – Lara Hicks, UNANIMA International

Lara Hicks graduated from Bemidji High School in 2017. As Executive Assistant and Assistant United Nations (UN) Representative for UNANIMA International at the UN, her work empowers women and children living in extreme poverty across the globe. Katie Carter caught up with Lara at her office just as the 66th Annual Commission on the Status of Women was winding down. They discussed Lara’s journey to the UN, her work, and what gives her hope for women and girls in the future. Lara also shared advice for anyone considering work in global affairs.

As someone from a rural place or a small town or from Minnesota, it feels like you're really far away from the issues that are happening. But the unfortunate reality is that a lot of the issues that we're going to have to face as the United States …it's really important for us to pay attention to them… If that’s something that deeply interests you… if you care about these issues, we need you desperately…It's such an interesting field and we really need more brilliant young minds at the table. – Lara Hicks, UNANIMA International

Click the green bubble above for the whole conversation!

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.