University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Arts in Art, expected 2016
“Though we may come from different backgrounds, hold differing perspectives, or work for independent causes, the Hawkinson Foundation is bringing us together in one space to celebrate the incredible peace and justice work being done around the Midwest. Together, I believe we can change the world.”
Alec Fischer, 21, uses film to create social change. During his senior year at Edina High School, he produced a documentary called “Minnesota Nice?” The film was heralded as a successful way to raise awareness of bullying and suicide rampant in Minnesota schools. Alec has traveled throughout the Midwest presenting his documentary to 45 schools, universities, film festivals, community events and bullying prevention rallies. The video has amassed more than 17,000 YouTube views.
Alec is also a staunch advocate for legislative changes. He successfully lobbied at the State Capitol for the Safe And Supportive Schools Act. Fischer co-founded Can’t Convert Love MN, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of conversion therapy in MN. He co-wrote a bill to ban conversion therapy from being practiced on minors in the state, and after working with GLAAD and Change.org, he created a petition that has more than 115,000 signatures thus far supporting these efforts.
Alec was also awarded a 2014-2015 Dalai Lama Fellowship, a global initiative aiming to train “the next generation of ethical and compassionate social innovators.” The project Alec worked toward during his fellowship was called “The U-Speak Movement.” The goal was to make available “online and mobile platforms to empower students to speak out about relevant, yet silenced, issues on college campuses.”
Alec will graduate in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Art and a focus on advocacy and social justice. He plans to complete a master’s degree in film & television production and eventually become a director/documentarian to help continue advocating for social change through film.
“Throughout his college career, Alec has continued to work to amplify the voices of those at the margins, and not just through his passion for filmmaking… He is an engaged advocate and leader for the LGBTQ community on campus.” — Christian Simamora, Program Director, Dalai Lama Fellows