Amora Haynes is the Summer 2019 Special Initiatives Junior Fellow. She is a rising senior at UCLA double majoring in communications and political science with a specialization in international relations.
She was born in Woodland Hills in Southern California, but raised in the Bay Area of Northern California. Amora recently returned from a semester in Washington, D.C., where she interned full time at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, working on the policy and education teams. Through this experience, she strengthened her policy and research skills as she conducted a 30-page research project on education inequity in the United States school system. She also worked on various topics of civil and human rights, including immigration, affirmative action, and criminal justice policies.
Throughout her college career, Amora has been involved in organizations such as the Student Activist Project where she worked alongside a diverse team to transform the internship into an independent organization apart from student government, to continue social justice advocacy, diversity, and inclusion work across the campus and in the greater LA community. She is a member of the United Nations’ Association, where she assists in activity fairs and different events to spread an understanding of how students on campus can be involved with the work of the UN and international affairs.
She is a UCLA Law Fellow where she spent a year learning about the legal field, law school, and gaining important resources to aid her approach to law school. She is currently a Bunche Research Fellow, where she assists UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools on implementing restorative justice models amongst school systems in California to reform school discipline and school climate to better suit all students equitably for their well-being, education, and futures.
Although Amora has various passions, they all align in that she is most concerned with human affairs and human rights, domestically and internationally because she believes these are critical issues that face us every day and must be addressed.
We sat down with Amora to learn more about her passion for international affairs.
Name: Amora Haynes
Department: Special Initiatives
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area
College/University and major: UCLA Political Science and Communications
Languages spoken: English, Elementary French
Go-to source for interesting takes on what’s going on in the world: Vice, BBC, podcasts
Areas of interest: international relations relating to human rights and resource equity, equitable and effective education, and also has a passion for the art of fashion
Fun fact: I am a travel connoisseur and have a bucket list I am slowly crossing out!
What drew you to the Pacific Council?
I have always had an interest in international relations and policy, and once I was introduced to the Pacific Council I was automatically drawn in! It is almost a rarity to have organizations focused on international and global work on the West Coast, and the Pacific Council works effortlessly to include this coast in the global conversation. I wanted to be involved in work that is not only impactful, but inclusive and goes beyond the surface to get involved with a majority of issues. The Junior Fellowship offers the experience and learning opportunity to broaden your horizon and work along talented professionals also dedicated to international policy.
When did you first realize you had a passion for international affairs?
In high school, I was a member of the International Studies Certificate Program, in which we had an end of the year Capstone Project. I decided to research and present on the history and current status of the Syrian refugee crisis. Through my development of this project, I learned about the realities of refugees on a global scale and immigration policy throughout Europe and the Middle East. This human rights issue inspired me to dive deeper into intentional affairs.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done since starting at the Pacific Council?
So far, I have been working alongside the Special Initiatives Department in reconceptualizing the department. Through this process, I have learned more about the purpose, goals, and vision of the department. I am currently working on surveying staff members through one on one meetings, to discuss their understanding of the department. These conversations will allow me to develop a visualization for what our department is working on as a reference to other staff members. I am excited to continue working with staff surveys and developing a Needs Assessment targeted towards executive and external members, to aide in the process of restructuring the department as efficiently and effectively as possible. These projects are developing my analytical, communication, and surveying skills, that will be extremely beneficial as I continue on both my academic and career path!
The Pacific Council’s Junior Fellowship program offers students and recent graduates the unique opportunity to work alongside our staff of non-profit and foreign policy professionals. Learn more about the Junior Fellow program here.