Human Rights in the US and Abroad

DaQuan Lawrence
Master of Arts
International Law and Conflict Management

DaQuan became inspired to dedicate his life to empowering civil society and marginalized communities, after his childhood in foster homes where he overcame challenges of poverty, homelessness, abuse, and neglect.

Following his undergraduate education at Morgan State University in Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Philosophy, DaQuan worked in Baltimore through the AmeriCorps VISTA program for one year. At the conclusion of his service he founded a nonprofit, Strong Men Overcoming Obstacles Through Hard-Work (SMOOTH) Inc., a mentoring and community service organization that works to educate, develop, and empower at-risk males to improve their graduation and retention rates in schools and colleges.

DaQuan was attracted to Johns Hopkins SAIS for its prime location and interdisciplinary approach. Since enrolling, he has traveled internationally for the first time to Monrovia, Liberia where he worked with vulnerable women and ex-combatant youth on disaster risk reduction, urban poverty, and post-conflict and post-disaster recovery. He also traveled with classmates to Indonesia for a research project investigating the economic, social, and environmental impacts of Indonesian palm oil cultivation.

Currently, DaQuan is enrolled in the International Human Rights Clinic, an experiential learning course where students work on research projects involving international human rights promotion and protection. As a part of this course he traveled to the Dominican Republic and Haiti and participated in the Israel Club’s trek to Israel in Spring 2016.

After graduating, DaQuan plans to work on human rights issues and ultimately to found a non-governmental or civil society organization that develops human rights campaigns and builds schools in underdeveloped states and urban areas.