More than two decades of work and education inform my thinking on great city governance. Here are some highlights starting from now and moving backwards through my professional experiences.
In my regular job, I am the Executive Director of New Brookwood Labor College where we educate workers to advance the working class. Our classes bring together people who want to understand the historical and economic context and learn the skills to organize workers.
Picture: One Job Should be Enough
My work for justice, human rights, and democracy led me to the study of leadership. I have taught adaptive leadership–how to lead social change–first at the University of Minnesota and now at Metro State University since 2012.
Picture: Robyn talking to a U of M class
When Minnesotans were asked to vote on whether to limit marriage and voting, I organized statewide to stand up for equal rights and democracy.
Picture: Emma (daughter) at 1, standing between campaign signs.
Homecare workers were, until recently, among the lowest paid in Minnesota. Their work–one-on-one with clients in their homes–was often invisible.
I organized homecare workers and helped change Minnesota law to allow them to Unionize. In 6 years, their pay has doubled, lifting thousands of workers out of poverty.
In 2010, I was awarded a Rotary Global Grants Scholarship to study at Central European University, where I earned a Master's in Human Rights Law. With students from more than 100 countries, the range of perspectives and experiences was unparalleled.
My research was about birth registration and children's rights.
At the Humphrey School, I earned a Master's of Public Policy.
I interned with The Advocates for Human Rights on the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I worked in Honduras, creating a tool to track child development. And I co-founded an organization that advanced child protection in South Sudan.
For 5 years, I knocked doors to talk about marriage equality. I raised $200,000 for the Human Rights Campaign and signed on thousands of members. This effort laid the foundation for the defeating the Marriage Amendment in 2012, and achieving marriage equality in Minnesota and nationally.
Picture: Robyn in HRC T-Shirt
I went to college to study theatre and photography, but an environmental politics class helped me to realize that I was passionate about creating a better, more equitable world. I got involved in campaigns and learned to organize.
Picture: Robyn getting signatures asking Starbucks to offer fair trade coffee