Amber Munger ’08
A human rights champion for Haitians
Amber Munger ’08 began her humanitarian work in Haiti in 1997. The 2008 Oregon Law alumna first visited Haiti roughly 15 years ago, and has been working on social and environmental issues in some of the country’s most remote regions with various humanitarian organizations ever since.
“A lot of people have a work life and a personal life,” Munger said. “The work in Haiti is my life.”
Although Munger is not a practicing lawyer (she went to law school never intending to practice), she said everything she does in Haiti is guided by the Human Rights-Based Approach that she discovered at Oregon Law.
“As a non-practicing lawyer, I use just about every class I ever took in law school.”
Upon graduating law school in 2008, Munger returned to Haiti to conduct relief work and contracted E. Coli and had to fly back to the states to be hospitalized. During this time, cholera broke out in Haiti. Despite being ill, Munger worked from her hospital bed translating information sheets on cholera into Creole and sending them to her colleagues in Haiti in an effort to prevent widespread panic.
After recovering, Munger returned to Haiti yet again. In 2010, she not only survived the massive earthquake that devastated the region, but spearheaded a grassroots coalition that provided a local response to the earthquake, demanding local participation in humanitarian efforts.
In the wake of the disaster, Munger started a non-profit organization called Article 29 Organization in partnership with individuals and groups in Haiti’s poorest region, Commune Anse Rouge, that currently provides programs in women’s micro-credit, health and sanitation, and reforestation. She returns frequently to the law school as a guest speaker and currently is working with Oregon Law students to develop programs for the Article 29 Organization.
Munger’s second love, after working with peasant groups, is facilitating university students in Haiti.
“These people have taught me so much about what it means to be human. It is my personal mission to share that gift with students.”