Ann Burroughs, Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International and Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation of Los Angeles, spoke to the IES 315 (Non-Governmental Organizations: Policy and Practice) class on Tuesday, July 1. Several other faculty and doctoral students were also in attendance. Ann shared her story of involvement with Amnesty International, which goes back over 30 years to when she was 17 and began protesting against apartheid in South Africa. She was imprisoned several times, and at the age of 22 and was arrested and charged with treason. She was freed through the efforts of Amnesty International, and years later went to work for them on behalf of others who were at risk because of their human rights activism. Ann also talked about the Taproot Foundation and their role in supporting nonprofits through the coordination of pro bono services offered by an incredibly large and growing network of professionals from all walks of life. Taproot is the largest pro bono service provider in the country.
Ann sat with the IES 315 students, answering a myriad of questions about nonprofits and how they work, and about working as a nonprofit professional. Ann’s talk was so inspiring. Students and faculty alike walked away with a much deeper understanding of the role of nonprofits in human rights/social justice work. As Sonia Nieto says, they had “a light in their eyes.”