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Global Justice Program Takes Students to Thailand for Spring Break


Pepperdine University School of Law’s Global Justice Program took seven students to Chaing Mai and Mai Sot, Thailand, over Spring Break to learn about international human rights issues on the ground. The Pepperdine group included Global Justice Program director Jay Milbrandt (JD ’08), program assistant Lauren Hartley, and seven law students.

The group met with organizations such as the Recycled Child Project, an anti-trafficking project started by Pepperdine Seaver alumna, Alexandra Russell, and the Free Burma Rangers, an organization that documents human rights abuses in Burma. Students also visited a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border.

Our time at a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border had the greatest impact on me,” explains Amy Wingfield. “As a law student, I get caught up in all the work I have to do and all the things I have to worry about, but the displaced people in the refugee camp have gone through horrible experiences and lost family and friends to violence, yet they are so kind and hopeful. It was refreshing, and a wonderful reminder of all the blessings we have, that really inspired me to tell their stories and find ways to continue to help the people of Burma.”  

Amber Pleasant was also surprised by the joy she witnessed at the camp. “I remember lying on my mat in the refugee camp, drifting off to sleep to the sounds of the Karen people singing, and I was struck by how unexpectedly joyful they are despite their circumstances. Many have lost family members, all have lost their homes, yet their daily life is a testament to the resilience and hope of humanity.”

Pepperdine’s Global Justice Program touches all corners of the globe through international human rights and religious freedom, advancement of the rule of law, and global development. Through these initiatives, students and faculty collaborate to seek justice and create a lasting impact in some of the world's most vulnerable places. Under the umbrella of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, the Global Justice Program is growing rapidly in response to student interest and demand from global partners.

Learn more about the Global Justice Program