Current Fellows: 2021

Alexii Sigoni headshotAlexii Sigona 

Ph.D., Department of Environmental Science, UC Berkeley 

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in San Francisco and Monterey Bay 

Alexii Sigona and Ghaleb Attrache will partner with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to research and advocate for recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples within municipalities and natural resource agencies based in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. They will promote commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to increase the acknowledgement of non-federally recognized tribes’ rights over their land and cultural resources.

Astha Agarwal headshotAstha Agarwal

Ph.D., School Psychology Program, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

Youth Law Center

Astha will be working with the Youth Law Center, which advocates to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems nationwide to provide all children and youth in these systems the opportunity to thrive. Although access to higher education is universally considered a human right, children and youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems in the U.S. face significant systemic and institutionalized barriers to education, such that only 3% of youth in foster care and only 1% of youth in the juvenile justice system earn a college degree. With her background in creating culture and practice change in education, Astha will work to build commitment in the secondary and postsecondary education community to provide educational access to vulnerable students in these systems.

Brett Simpson headshotBrett Simpson

MJ, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Saami Council in Norway

Brett Simpson will be working in Alta, Norway, with the Saami Council, a non-governmental body advocating for the rights of the indigenous Saami people. Brett, an audio and print reporter studying at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, will document the systemic fragmentation of traditional Saami land in pursuit of renewable energy and resource extraction projects in the Norwegian Arctic. She will follow Saami communities facing the dual threats of global climate change and development projects, examining the immediate impacts of Norway's pursuit of a future "green economy."

Ceren Fitoz headshot

Ceren Fitoz

Undergraduate, Global Studies, Letters and Science, UC Berkeley

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, Netherlands

Ceren will partner with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organisation based in The Hague, to monitor and aid the implementation of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Through their Technical Secretariat, she will assist in their activities through online discovery and verification using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).

Fatimah headshotMir Fatimah Kanth

Ph.D., Anthropology, UC San Diego

Fatimah will work with a grassroots civil liberties organization in Indian administered Kashmir to research the effects of militarized humanitarian programming undertaken within the spheres of culture and education, on the Kashmiri youth. She will use mixed methods to participate in various aspects of the project, including research, advocacy, and documentation.

Forogh headshotForogh Bashizada

JD, School of Law, UC Berkeley

International Refugee Assistance Project

Forogh will partner with the International Refugee Assistance Project to serve the world’s most persecuted individuals through the mobilization of direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy. She will assist vulnerable clients in navigating various pathways to safety, including refugee resettlement, family-based immigration and reunification, and humanitarian parole. Forogh will also work with the Litigation Department to bring legal challenges to refugee rights violations in the courts, creating solutions to overcoming the legal and bureaucratic impediments in the resettlement process and developing an enforceable system of legal and procedural rights for refugees and displaced persons worldwide.

Ghaleb headshotGhaleb Attrache

Ph.D., Sociology, UC Berkeley

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in San Francisco and Monterey Bay

Ghaleb Attrache and Alexii Sigona will support the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s ongoing efforts to preserve, steward, and return to their ancestral lands. They will research and advocate for recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples within municipalities and natural resource agencies based in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Specifically, their work will consider how commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can promote the acknowledgement of non-federally recognized tribes’ rights over their land and cultural resources.

Gustavo headshotGustavo Capela

Ph.D., Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform in Nigeria

Gustavo will work with the Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) to map the living conditions and spatial configuration in the waterfront community of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. CMAP's Human City Project seeks to elucidate realities that have been made invisible by the local government and media. Gustavo will help document the structural injustices and human rights violations that occur within these precarious communities, with a focus on the intersection of the infringements of social rights (especially housing and service provision) and discrimination based on gender.

Harjot headshot 2

Harjot Singh Dhindsa

Undergraduate, Political Economy and South Asian Studies, UC Berkeley 

Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP)

Using multiple methods, Harjot will work on cases of extrajudicial executions in Punjab to analyze broader patterns of human rights violations and genocidal violence against minorities in India. Under the guidance of PDAP’s lawyers, his work will help examine how the impacts of the counter-insurgency measures that Indian security forces had undertaken (to curb the Sikh self-determination movement in the eighties) continue to subsist, as impunity upheld by several administrations has prevented the architects of state violence from being held accountable for more than three decades.

Idris headshot 2Idris Muktar Ibrahim

MJ, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley 

FilmAid Kenya

Idris will be amplifying refugee voices in the Dadaab refugee camp. He will be mentoring students in storytelling and human rights advocacy through media and film production. Idris will partner with FilmAid Kenya to train residents of the camp in media and film production from ideation to completion. Through their documentaries and feature programs, they will portray their lived experiences and hopes in a creative and direct way. Idris will conduct writing, filming, and networking workshops. This will be screened to the refugees and broadcasted on different mediaplatforms.

Helena headshot 2Helena von Nagy

JD, School of Law, UC Berkeley 

Office of the Legal Advisor in Washington, DC

Helena will be a summer clerk for the Office of the Legal Adviser (OLA), advising the State Department about international law, working to bolster U.S. support for human rights and develop the centrality of human rights concerns within international law broadly. This administration has explicitly stated that the State Department will focus on supporting human rights globally, and OLA will be central to that effort. As a clerk, Helena will be given the same work as a junior attorney, and will center human rights in all the work that she does, advocate for human rights initiatives, and, if necessary, provide a voice of dissent to demand human rights considerations.

Lucy Meyer headshotLucy Meyer

Berkeley International Student Program, UC Berkeley 

International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands

As a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court, Lucy will be working collaboratively to ensure international criminal proceedings are more accessible to impacted communities around the world. Lucy will be a part of the ICC’s Public Information and Outreach division, where she will be focused on a project at the intersection of technology and human rights. She will assess how the Court can harness webstreaming as an outreach tool for survivors on the ground.

Mayra headshot 2Mayra Lopez

JD, School of Law, UC Irvine

San Diego Federal Defenders, Inc.

Mayra will be working as a legal intern at the San Diego Federal Defenders, Inc., and addressing some of the most concerning civil rights issues at the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayra will be helping fight against the targeted prosecution of migrants under Title 8 U.S.C. §1326. Mayra will also assist our attorneys in representing indigent clients charged with other federal crimes in our district who are disproportionally people of color.

Meher headshot 2Meher Wadhawan

Undergraduate, College of Letters and Science, UC Berkeley 

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Meher will partner with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organisation based in The Hague, to monitor and aid the implementation of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Through their Technical Secretariat, she will assist in their activities through online discovery and verification using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).

Michael headshotMichael Bakal

Ph.D., Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

Voces y Manos and Fundación Nueva Esperanza in Guatemala

The dry corridor of Guatemala is one of the world's most vulnerable regions to climate change. And yet, Maya communities have an array of resilience practices which can be leveraged to withstand the climate crisis. Michael will work with the NGOs Voces y Manos and Fundación Nueva Esperanza to co-design a climate change resilience project in the dry corridor, rooted in the Indigenous philosophy of Buen Vivir (living well). Integrating the rights of nature with human rights, this philosophy offers an important corrective to the Euro-western tendency to treat nature as disposable, and may help point the way toward a more sustainable, equitable future. 

Naomi headshot

Naomi Spoelman

JD, School of Law, UC Berkeley

EarthRights International 

Naomi will work at EarthRights International, a non-profit law firm based in Washington D.C. whose work lies at the intersection of human and environmental rights. She will be conducting legal research and writing and developing litigation strategies in support of ongoing cases. Her work will strengthen legal arguments on behalf of communities and human rights defenders impacted by climate change and corporate abuse of power.

Samantha headshot

Samanta Anriquez

DrPH, Public Health, UC Berkeley 

Amnesty International Chile

Samanta will be working with Amnesty International Chile, researching and advocating for the reparation process for victims of human rights violations by the Chilean police during the social outbreak that began in October 2019.

Sara Osman headshotSara Osman

JD, School of Law, UC Berkeley 

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sara will be working with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota to help provide critical legal support and representation to Somali individuals in ICE custody. As part of her legal internship, Sara will also conduct research and circulate surveys regarding detention conditions for Somali detainees in ICE detention centers in Minnesota. The objective of the project is to examine what issues currently exist, potential avenues for redress for any human rights violations and to eventually share the data with lawmakers in order to push for policy changes. 

Sarah Bakir 2Sarah Abdelrahman

MPH, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Assistance Coordination Unit, northern Syria

Sarah will work with Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) in determining the effect of current WASH services on waterborne diseases during conflict in northern Syria. The goal for this project is to analyze data collected by ACU on surveillance findings of waterborne diseases such as acute diarrheal disease and data on WASH activities such as chlorination. She will also have the opportunity to interview ACU WASH officers who are in charge of monitoring the WASH services in the field to determine potential gaps that cannot be addressed using the data.

Tiana headshot 2Tiana Cherbosque

JD, School of Law, UCLA

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

Tiana will work at the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice at the intersection of migration, gender-based violence, and human trafficking. Her work will support the diverse legal needs of immigrant survivors of human trafficking in Los Angeles and will include conducting legal research, drafting client declarations, preparing USCIS applications, as well as assisting with crime victims' rights, lost wages, and vacatur relief.

Tiffany Taylor headshot 3Tiffany Taylor

Ph.D., Anthropology, UC Berkeley 

Visual Anthropology and Educational Inequity in Mississippi 

Tiffany will work with the U.S. Department of Education to create a visual ethnography on educational inequality in Mississippi. She will also conduct ethnographic fieldwork and explore the social and cultural dynamics of relevant social justice initiatives. This project includes a mixed-methods analysis on youth with learning disabilities within the school-prison nexus, in addition to interviews with public policy officials.