Rise is a millennial driven, non-profit organization founded by Amanda Nguyen that advocates for civil and criminal justice reform to support sexual assault survivors. No state has comprehensive sexual assault laws to protect survivors and the laws that govern sexual assault drastically vary from state to state. For example, prior to Rise getting a law passed in Massachusetts, a survivor’s rape kit could be destroyed after only 6 months when the statute of limitations to report a sexual assault is 15 years. Other survivors in our country lose their access to justice on a daily basis. In New Hampshire, untested rape kits can be destroyed after 2 months, and in Florida the kits can be destroyed after only a month.
Our goal is to fix the patchwork of rights for survivors by changing the laws in each state that govern how criminal justice actors treat sexual assault. To achieve this goal, Rise created the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights and introduced it at both the state and federal level. At the federal level, Rise's bill has passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate (89-0) and U.S. House (399-0), and was signed by President Obama on October 7, 2016. Rise has since been working at the state level, where 21 states have passed at least some portion of Rise's bill.
Rise’s newest endeavor, Rise Justice Labs, looks to replicate its model for passing legislation in states with other social justice issues. Rise Justice Labs, a first of its kind social justice accelerator program, will soon begin bringing in newly formed organizations looking to make a difference in their communities through legislation, and teach them how to write, advocate for, and pass laws in their home states. To learn more about the program, watch Amanda’s appearance on The Daily Show.
2019 Intern Reflection:
Rise has been an incredible place to work. Everyone has been helpful and supportive throughout my time here so far. My portfolio is primarily related to domestic policy, which has been spent attending meetings with legislators, researching legislation, and aiding our state based efforts. Since I've started we have had two different state bills pass and be signed into law. We are also doing work with the United Nations, which has involved lots of research into foreign ambassadors and keeping up to date with the status of survivors' rights in other countries.
Justin McMahan '21
2018 Intern Reflection:
Rise has been a great place to work! The office itself is small and you'll get to work really hard and see actual results. I mostly work on policy advocacy which typically involves everything from scheduling to attending meetings with legislators, and doing research on people and legislation. We've also recently been working on a UN resolution which has involved doing lots of research on similar international efforts.
Since I've been here Amanda was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, I helped organize a hearing for the Senate Judiciary Committee (which involved getting to meet Terry Crews) and I've seen 2 state bills pass and 2 others get signed.
Sarah Ryan '20
2017 Intern Reflection:
Working at Rise has been a huge eye-opener. We're involved in direct policy advocacy, meaning I get to do everything from researching legislation to sitting in meetings with legislators. I also help schedule, draft social media, plan political strategy, and fundraise. I've learned a huge amount about how the political process works and have gotten to meet many amazing, driven people. Amanda, the founder of Rise, is an especially inspiring and accomplished person to work with -- she's evidence that you're never too young to make a real difference in the world.
Rise is a small team of great people that I've gotten to know really well. Be prepared to learn quickly, work hard, and see results. I've seen 2 laws get passed while I've been on the team!
Amelia Goldberg '19