We are leaders from #MeToo, #StopAsianHate, Women’s March, and March for Our Lives – the largest grassroots organizing moments in recent US history. We started by fighting for survivors of sexual violence and collectively, we’ve passed more than 65 laws. We’ve gathered our experience to teach you how to pass your own law for your community.
Cities across America have incubators for tech startups, but nothing like that exists for civil rights. Rise is demystifying this path for everyone by spreading what we’ve learned to new causes so that everyone can claim their place in our democracy. It is built on our belief that the best people to solve problems are those that live the problem everyday.
In 2013, during her final year at Harvard University, Amanda Nguyen was raped. On the day that she was raped, Amanda never could have imagined that a greater injustice awaited her than the one she had already been forced to endure. After spending 6 hours that night at the hospital, she discovered that her untested rape kit, the forensic evidence collected from her body, would be routinely destroyed. The police provided no reason about why rape kits were destroyed, but the reason was clear when Amanda stepped into her rape crisis center. The waiting room was filled with women; there were not enough chairs to sit in. Simply, the law has a gender and that gender is not female.
America doesn’t give all an equal voice. Too often underrepresented groups are left out of the policy conversations that impact their lives. This rigged system – paid lobbying – sells democracy to the highest bidder which bars marginalized, less resourced people from accessing the legislative process. Walking out of the hospital, Amanda realized she had a choice: accept the system, or rewrite the law. So she rewrote the law & created Rise to teach others how to do the same.
In November 2014, Amanda Nguyen founded Rise, a nonprofit organization which was started to protect the civil rights of sexual assault and rape survivors. It was named Rise to “remind us that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can rise up and change the world.”
after the tragic shooting at Parkland, students, survivors, and friends asked Amanda for advice on passing their own laws to end gun violence. They would become the pilot cohort of the Rise Justice Labs accelerator program, which empowers everyday people with the tools to pen their own rights into existence.
Rise’s “what were you wearing?” exhibit debuted at the United Nations, representing the 1.3 billion survivors of sexual violence and calling on the United Nations to pass a resolution recognizing the rights of survivors of sexual violence globally, because justice should not depend on geography.
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