Lisa Albrecht is activist educator and writer. She is Emeritus Associate Professor in the School of Social Work of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, where she co-founded and directed an undergraduate program in Social Justice. Previously, she taught writing in the General College of the University of Minnesota for 19 years. She is the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Community Service Award, the Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award, and the Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award.
She co-edited (with Jacqui Alexander, Sharon Day and Mab Segrest) Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray!: Feminist Visions for a Just World (2003), and co-edited (with Rose Brewer) Bridges of Power: She co-edited (with Jacqui Alexander, Sharon Day and Mab Segrest) Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray!: Feminist Visions for a Just World (2003), and co-edited (with Rose Brewer) Bridges of Power: Women’s Multicultural Alliances (1990), and co-authored (with Rose Brewer & Walda Katz-Fishman), The Critical Classroom: Education for Liberation and Movement Building (2007). She is currently working on two writing projects: Beacons in the Storm: White Educator Activists Working for Racial Justice, and a memoir, Lessons of My Life.
She served for ten years on the Board of Directors of Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, a national movement building organization based in Atlanta. After Hurricane Katrina, she worked with the Gulf South Youth Action Corps in New Orleans where she was a consultant for a service learning summer program for middle school youth, taught by college students. She was on the board of Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness (WAMM), one of the oldest feminist anti-militarist non-profits in the US. She also served on the board of Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP, formerly MN Minority Education Partnership); its mission is to advance racial equity and excellence by using a race equity lens to transform educational institutions, organizations, and leaders to ensure that students of color and American Indian students achieve full academic and leadership success. She was also a member of the founding Leadership Team of SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network of white people working for racial justice, as well as the SURJ Minnesota founding team. She is a trained Circle-Keeper, someone who can help facilitate difficult dialogues, using the Circle process.
She was a member of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights for twelve years, and was its Chair from 1997-1999. She has written and speaks about feminist alliance politics, especially linking the fight to end racism with working for economic justice, and ending homophobia and anti-Jewish/anti-Arab racism. She has developed and facilitated over a hundred university workshops on feminist and multicultural curriculum transformation and pedagogies. She has also facilitated hundreds of discussions and given talks in communities all over the state of Minnesota (and various other places) about human rights and social justice. As an American Jew who identifies as non-zionist, she has been active in Middle East politics. She has traveled to Israel and the Palestine and worked with grassroots activists, both Arab and Jew. She also does consultations with non-profits that are interested in social justice organizational development.
She currently co-facilitates an LGBTQ Caregivers Group through Rainbow Health. She worked on the State of Minnesota’s 2019 Legislative Committee that prepared a new report on Alzheimer’s Disease for state officials. She also served on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the local Alzheimer’s Association. She is completing a fellowship with Caring Across Generations, a national network that works to educate caregivers, and helps caregivers advocate for better support at the state and national level. She talked with staff at Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office and Senator Tina Smith’s office and told her story to people so anyone can learn more about the struggles that caregivers face on a daily basis. Lisa is a caregiver for Pat Rouse, who was her partner for 25 years. Lisa has vascular dementia—this is not Alzheimer’s, but it does affect her memory.
Since retiring, she worked with Warriors for the Human Spirit with Meg Wheatley for several years. The Warriors program was rooted in Buddhism. Lisa is not a Buddhist, but has learned how to draw on Buddhism in her life. A quote from Wheatley’s book, Who Do We Chose to Be? Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity (2017) has shaped how Lisa thinks about leadership:
“We need leaders who put service over self, stand steadfast in crises and failures, and who display unshakable faith that people can be generous, creative and kind.”
In her spare time (she doesn’t have a great deal of spare time even though she is retired!), she does indoor water aerobics in the winter and outdoor water aerobics in the summer. She tries to ride her recumbent bike in her apartment to stay healthy. In the summer, she grows delicious vegetables and herbs in her tiny garden, and enjoys watching the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the Golden Gopher Women’s Basketball team, and the not-very-good Minnesota Twins. She is hoping that there will not be a Major League Baseball strike during the summer of 2022. She has also recently started to take ukule lessons! To stay out of trouble, Lisa learned how to make puppets several months ago in an GLBTQ puppet camp. Look for photos of her puppets at some point soon.
As a recent retiree, she is thrilled to be receiving social security, while hoping that the rest of her retirement income will not be gambled away on Wall Street.
Lisa’s Fur babies:
19+ years old Sadie on the left and 13+ years old Ketzel on the right