Michaela's Blog

by Kelly Vo
Jul 11

Everyone I spoke to this weekend had a story. Some stories were about the innovative, impactful organizations they ran. Some were about how they got there in the first place. Some were the stories they were able to capture on their media platforms, or the stories they were able to support through their international alliances. These captivating stories came to life not only through panels and keynote speeches but also in intimate one-on-one conversations. This quickly became one of the highlights of the conference. What truly stood out was the abundant opportunity we had throughout the event to cultivate personal connections with a multitude of inspiring activists.

People from all over the human rights spectrum attended; lawyers defending political prisoners, journalists covering war zones and revolutions, tech developers creating innovative solutions for disrupting dictatorial control, heads of opposition parties fighting against tyrannical leaders, researchers exposing human traffickers, and so many other inspiring people. As an Oslo Scholar, these activists were so accessible to learn from and connect with. Merely attending the conference is an amazing experience, but being in the Oslo Scholars program became a platform to connect with other activists while there.

I also loved spending so much time with the other Oslo Scholars, both from my year and those from previous years. We explored Oslo, swam in the fjords, tried Norwegian snacks and attempted(and failed miserably) to pronounce Norwegian words on street signs or menus. Having a group to come back to at the end of the day to recuperate and laugh with made the conference that much better, and I’m so excited to see all of them back at Tufts in the fall!