Amalia Anderson ’96

2007 Young Alumni Award

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Amalia Anderson was born in Guatemala, of Mayan heritage, grew up in Minnesota, and enjoys an understanding of global identity for which she credits Macalester. She was active in Twin Cities Latino organizations and spent a semester studying in Central America through the Center for Global Education. "There," she says, "I began to understand fair trade, the effects of global financial institutions, liberation theology and displacement due to civil war, militarization and globalization." As one born in Central America, returning to study there, Anderson learned that "the people of Central America still claim us and we should do the same."

A history and urban studies major at Macalester, she earned her law degree at Hamline University, where she was active in the Chicano-Latino and the Inter-American Indigenous Law Student Associations.

Anderson co-founded Fourth World Rising, a project to mentor young indigenous peoples and connect local struggles with the international indigenous movement. In August 2005, she co-led a Minnesota indigenous delegation to the 16th World Festival of Youth and Students in Caracas, Venezuela. She participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City and the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Professor Peter Rachleff wrote, "Amalia has worked hard to gain an education and professional credentials, and then she has turned right around and used these accomplishments, not for her own material benefit, but in order to help others."

Currently, Anderson is co-director of RaĆ­ces (Roots), a four-year rural Latino leadership and capacity-building project in Minnesota, Iowa, Idaho and Oregon. The Minnesota Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2005 named her one of "25 on the Rise."