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Meet Averie Bishop, Human Rights Fellow 2018-19

Dedman College News
Originally Posted: October 3, 2018

By: Ryan Garrett

Averie Bishop is a senior undergraduate majoring in Human Rights and Sociology and minoring in Law and Legal Reasoning (as a Pre-Law Scholar). In addition to being recognized as Miss Asian America, she along with her mother, Marevi, created the Tulong Foundation, a nonprofit that supports primary education for students in Southeast Asia. The Foundation is supported, in part, by an Embrey Human Rights Program student research grant.

Initially created to help provide education opportunities, the Tulong Foundation currently sponsors over 20 children in the south of the Philippines; additionally, Tulong has expanded to include ventures such as teaching the locals sustainable farming skills and how to find and filter clean drinking water.

“’Tulong’ means “help” in the Filipino language. We are currently helping impoverished children in the southern Philippines get an education. We also built a water well in the Banga, South Cotabato province –where my mother’s from –to provide easier access to clean water.”

Averie presented her clean water initiative at the Clinton Global Initiative University during the fall of 2017, and with the help of an Embrey Human Rights Program student research grant, she has spent her summer in the Philippines building wells in rural communities, the organization’s second well to dig, providing water 24/7 to these communities.

Beyond her international travels, Bishop amplifies her advocacy at home as an SMU Human Rights Fellow. Through this fellowship, she is producing a peer-constructed and peer-led sexual education video series, for and by women of color, using the YouTube platform. This precedent-setting initiative will provide an innovative format for students to explore topics of consent, health, and empowerment through peer-led education

“Through EHRP’s endless love and educational support, I have found a home where my voice is acknowledged and amplified,” Averie said. “The professors and students in our department have given me the resources, tools, and lifelong relationships to further pursue my aspirations of legally representing disenfranchised minorities and impoverished communities.”

Following graduation, Averie intends to pursue her policy and legal interests by attending law school.

Learn more about the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program