2020 HRC Fellows

2020 HRC Fellows 

Alma Juárez Armenta

PhD student, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Data Civica, Mexico City

Understanding Femicide: calculating the toll of gender violence on Mexican women

Alma will be working with Data Civica to create a new methodology and a framework to understand the health effects of gender violence on Mexican women, especially regarding femicide and its toll on women’s health and lives. The project includes mixed-methods analysis in Mexican states regarded as extremely violent. Interviews with victims will bring their voices and stories to light.

Anne Daugherty

MJ student, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Human Rights Center Investigations Lab
Berkeley, CA

Documenting human rights violations and government accountability during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anne is a multimedia journalist and photographer covering the intersections of public health, human rights, environment, and social justice. She will work with the Human Rights Center’s Investigations Lab, using open source intelligence research methods, to document human rights violations within the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Her research will explore how weaknesses in public service delivery and structural inequalities can disproportionately impact vulnerable populations during public health and humanitarian crises.

Dallas Lopez

JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Indigenous Fellow

Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona

Blueprinting how Native communities build their own schools: overcoming decades of waiting

Dallas is a member of Gila River Indian Community (GRIC). He will partner with GRIC to interview, research, and document the groundbreaking process of building Gila Crossing k-8 school, built by the community in 13 months for less than the federal government would have spent, and with more community involvement. Many U.S. tribal communities’ schools are decrepit, overgrown, and lack funding. GRIC’s model and funding structure was the first of its kind. This project will capture the process in a guide that can be used by GRIC on their next school building and for other tribal communities to follow.

Emiliano Aguirre

JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Indigenous Fellow

Independent Study, Navajo Reservation, Arizona

Streamlining the fraught process of opening a small business on the reservation

Emiliano is conducting an independent study of how to start a small business on the Navajo reservation. It includes analyzing and discussing who can regulate business development on the Navajo reservation, the process to obtain a business site lease, and other business-related matters such as financing and taxes. He will partner remotely with the Dineh Chamber of Commerce (DCC),  a non-profit organization created to help further self-sufficiency and promote economic development on the Navajo reservation.

Esther Choi

PhD student, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego

New Economy Coalition, Cambridge, MA

Building the Solidarity Economy: Racialized Dispossession and the Right to Collective Wealth

Esther will partner with New Economy Coalition (NEC) in efforts to research and map the U.S. solidarity economy, a growing network of alternative practices that reframe economic value around democratic, cooperative and public ownership and a culture of solidarity and sustainability. The goal is to understand the stages of solidarity economy development, including the different needs and challenges by region, in order to help NEC and its 210 member organizations provide tailored support. Esther will draw upon an Ethnic Studies lens and human rights framework to understand systemic and racialized processes of economic dispossession and to support movements for collective ownership and wealth redistribution.

Hugo Santiago Vasquez

BA student, Legal Studies, minor in Public Policy, UC Berkeley

The Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migrations, Tijuana, Mexico

SOGIE refugees at the border: supporting LGBTQ asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico

Global non-profit Organization for Refuge, Asylum, & Migration (ORAM) addresses the legal needs of LGBTQ individuals around the world facing persecution and extreme violence in their home countries owing to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression (SOGIE).  Santiago's project is geared towards assisting SOGIE refugee minorities in Mexico. He will produce a multimedia package (photo, videos, testimonies) on lived experiences of LGBTIQ asylum seekers in Tijuana, create and update the Citizen Journalism Project where residents have the space to tell their own stories in their own words, and conduct legal and factual research to report and document human rights violations in Tijuana.

Ivey Dyson

JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Lebanese Center for Human Rights, Beirut, Lebanon

Fighting the legal battle for human rights in Lebanon

Ivey Dyson is a second-year law student at the UC Berkeley School of Law who will be working with the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) in Beirut, Lebanon. Ivey’s legal research work will answer pressing questions on human rights law specific to the rights protecting against racism and discrimination, enforced disappearance and kidnappings, detention, and torture.

Lena Musoka

MPH student, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Sanergy, Nairobi, Kenya

The right to water and sanitation: assessing the health impacts of inadequate water and sanitation and ensuring safe waste management for communities and sanitation workers in the slums of Kenya

Lena will partner with Sanergy to build a study protocol to understand and address the impact of water contamination with sewage in communities living in informal settlements in Nairobi.  She will also develop a parallel study framework aimed at assessing a waste management program implemented in the Mukuru Kwa Njenga informal settlement in Nairobi. Sanergy will then conduct these studies and use the findings to improve the communities' access to improved water and sanitation, the working conditions of sanitation workers, and inform the expansion of similar waste management programs throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

MaraGonzález Souto

JD student, School of Law, UCLA

Center for Justice and Accountability, San Francisco, CA

Pursuing accountability for human rights offenders using strategic litigation and transnational justice

Mara will be clerking at the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), an international human rights organization that fights to end torture and other human rights abuses around the world, through strategic litigation, policy and transitional justice strategies. Mara will work on litigation that applies the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), conducting legal research, devising litigation strategy, preparing motions, writing amicus briefs and conducting research into the relevant political and legal issues of a number of international cases, particularly those out of Latin America.

Nazineen Kandahari

MD/MS student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program

Human Rights Clinic and Refugee Health Clinic, Highland Hospital, Alameda Health System

Improving public health education in Northern California’s Afghan refugee community

Nazineen will be investigating the facilitators and barriers to health and healthcare among Afghan refugees in the Bay Area. With her findings she will develop an educational curriculum in collaboration with Farsi-speaking healthcare providers and Afghan refugees themselves. Her work will inform the deployment of Sofreh Salamati, a program she designed to promote the strengths and self-efficacy of this community, once social distancing is lifted. Her objective is to address the structures limiting the agency of Afghan refugees.

Nilsu Celikel 

BA student, Political Science and History, UC Berkeley

United Nations Human Rights CouncilIndependent

Investigating attacks and abuses against the Rohingya using open source intelligence

Nilsu will serve as an Open Source Fellow for the United Nations Human Rights Council for Myanmar. She will participate in investigations of attacks and abuses against the Rohingya people by utilizing methods of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in the discovery, documentation, and verification of human rights and international law violations.

Sang-Min Kim

BA student, Political Science and History, UC Berkeley

United Nations Human Rights Council, Independent

Investigating attacks and abuses against the Rohingya using open source intelligence

Sang-Min will serve as an Open Source Fellow for the United Nations Human Rights Council for Myanmar. He will participate in investigations of attacks and abuses against the Rohingya people by utilizing methods of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in the discovery, documentation, and verification of human rights and international law violations.

S. E. Freeman

PhD student, Department of Geography, UC Berkeley

CITRIS Policy Lab, UC Berkeley

The Ethics of Pandemic Surveillance

S. is partnering with the CITRIS Policy Lab to map the various ways in which surveillance technologies are being used globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparing data collection practices across countries, including the United States, their research will assess the ethical concerns raised by the use of such surveillance on a mass scale and the potential implications beyond this "exceptional" moment.

Sadaf Doost

JD student, School of Law, UC Irvine

American Civil Liberties Union SoCal, Los Angeles, CA

Policing, surveillance and persecution of US Muslims: the role of the courts

Sadaf will be working with ACLU SoCal's National Security and Police Practices to research the conditions that give rise to the discriminatory policing of Muslims in the United States, the parallels that can be drawn between other nations in their mass human rights violations, surveillance, and policing of Muslims, and the role courts play in either sanctioning or scrutinizing such practices. Her work will draw conclusions about the role of judicial review in limiting executive abuses in the national security arena.

Sara O’Connor

PhD student, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy, UC Irvine

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Protecting housing in Kazakhstan: a community fights for its homes

Sara will be working with the Urban Forum Kazakhstan (UFK) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to prevent the demolition of low-rise historic housing and its subsequent replacement with expensive high-rise modern luxury apartments. She will participate in research, advocacy, and public awareness initiatives in service of a campaign to protect Almaty’s architectural legacy and affordable housing stock.

Vanessa Rivas-Bernardy

JD student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

International Human Rights Law Clinic Fellow 

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, El Paso, Texas

Representing asylum-seekers forced to wait in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (“Remain in Mexico”)

Vanessa will work at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, a non-profit in El Paso, Texas, that provides legal services to immigrants and refugees in West Texas and New Mexico. She will assist in representing clients with a focus  on defensive asylum and Remain in Mexico cases. Her work will include interviewing clients, researching legal issues arising in cases, and writing asylum briefs and requests for release from the Remain in Mexico policy.