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: 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 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 facilitates an LGBT Caregivers Group through the Wilder Foundation for people who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease. 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 serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the local Alzheimer’s Association.
Since retiring, she worked with Meg Wheatley as part of Warriors for the Human Spirit. Wheatley’s Who Do We Chose to Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity (2017) outlines the warrior path: “We need leaders who recognize the harm being done to people and planet through the dominant practices that control, ignore, abuse and oppress the human spirit. 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.” She is currently training to be a Warrior-teacher. To further understand Warriors for the Human Spirit, it’s critical to know that…
“I cannot change the way the world is but by opening to the world as it is, I may discover gentleness, decency, and bravery are available not only to myself but to all human beings.”
In her spare time, she swims, gardens, loves watching the Minnesota Twins and the WNBA Minnesota Lynx. Once upon a time, she played percussion and told non-self-deprecating Jewish feminist jokes in a women’s klezmer band, the Tsatskelehs (translation – little Jewish playthings). She dreams of doing this again one day with Judith Eisner, who now plays Klezmer with Eisner’s Klezmorim. Lisa lived in South Minneapolis with her partner of 25 years, Patricia Rouse, until three years ago. Pat now lives in a residence for people with memory loss and dementia.
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:
18 year old Sadie on the left and 13 year old Ketzel on the right