Rachel Jackson has been with the Human Rights Institute since it was founded in 2003. Before joining the Human Rights Institute, she served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA with the Jumpstart program at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a department secretary at the Graduate Faculty at New School University.
In her role as the Program Administrator, Rachel works with the Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate Directors to ensure smooth operation of the academic programs and activities, manages the Human Rights Institute Internship Program, is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with the supported internship placements, manages the Human Rights Institute funding competitions, coordinates programming and outreach activities, supports visiting scholars and professor and supervises the staff and graduate assistants.
Since having children of her own, she has realized the intersection in her personal interest in maternal health, childbirth practices and breastfeeding with her professional and research interest in Human Rights.
Rachel became involved with the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition (CBC) when she was confronted by the lack of accommodation she experienced when called to report for jury duty while she was nursing her son. Rachel began working with the CBC on their efforts to pass a bill addressing the issue of jury duty and breastfeeding mothers. The result of the efforts was the bill, SB 194, signed into law by Governor Malloy on May 31, 2012, which requires that the Judicial Branch maintain a website with information for breastfeeding women on their ability to postpone jury service and information about the accommodations that can be made for breastfeeding mothers who wish to report for Jury Duty. Additionally, Jury Administration is now required to provide training to their staff on the needs of breastfeeding mothers who have been summoned for jury duty and work with mothers to provide reasonable accommodation when they report for jury duty
Rachel received an award from the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition on October 9, 2012 in recognition for her contributions to the health of Connecticut’s mothers and children through her advocacy and testimony on behalf of the 2012 Senate Bill 194: An Act Concerning Jury Duty for Breastfeeding Mothers.
Rachel now serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, and also served on the Board of Directors of the UConn Co-op from 2008-2014.