Justice Catalyst is proud to announce its 2020 – 2021 fellowship projects. The projects will be housed at a variety of public interest organizations around the country, carrying out Justice Catalyst’s mission of activating path-breaking approaches to social justice lawyering and affirmative litigation that have real-world impact and improve the lives of the low-wage workers, the poor, and the marginalized.

Projects selected include proposals from:

  • Alexis Bay, who will be defending migrant’s rights against abuses by immigration and law enforcement agencies on the South Texas-Mexico border at the Texas Civil Rights Project.
  • James Campbell, who will be joining Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to support local advocates seeking to challenge federal disenfranchisement and discrimination in U.S. territories.
  • David Chen, who will be designing and executing a nationwide strategy at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project to enforce state law limitations on the authority of local law enforcement to detain immigrants in cooperation with ICE. 
  • Connie Cho, who will be joining the community lawyering team at Communities for a Better Environment to secure just, democratic, and equitable clean energy and climate resiliency systems.
  • Ginger Cline, who will be joining Al Otro Lado to represent French-speaking African and Haitian asylum seekers detained at the southern border in San Diego.
  • Nick Cross, who will fight to achieve indigenous climate justice in the Brazilian Amazon and the United States with the Indian Law Resource Center.
  • Nahuel Fefer, who will join ArchCity Defenders and will be working with activists, organizers and elected officials to translate demands for criminal justice reform, economic equity, and democratic representation into law and policy in St. Louis.
  • John Giammatteo, who will coordinate the Second Circuit Asylum Monitoring Project at Lutheran Social Services of New York’s Immigration Legal Program.
  • Sonya Levitova, who will be holding federal officials accountable for their violations of incarcerated people’s constitutional rights at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady.
  • Elizabeth Lewis, who will work to provide LGBTQI+ immigrants with safety, community, and legal services with Beyond Legal Aid.
  • Joseph Meyers, who will challenge unconstitutional police practices at the border with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
  • Yazmine Nichols, who will work at the National ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project to challenge unjust pretrial conditions of release and eliminate pretrial profiteering through a targeted campaign centering women of color.
  • Christopher Owens, who will use strategic litigation to secure the individual right to apply for asylum and protect against the dismantling of the international refugee system by the U.S. and Mexican governments with Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project.
  • Maya Ragsdale, who will work as Dream Defenders’ first staff attorney, providing legal, policy, and strategic support to abolitionist organizers in Miami-Dade County.
  • Kathleen Rivas, who will combat notario fraud in Los Angeles’ immigrant community with Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.  
  • Michael Saavedra, who is working with the Youth Justice Coalition to remove the barriers that block many formerly incarcerated individuals from becoming lawyers.
  • Sejal Singh, who will join the Public Citizen Litigation Group to use FOIA and APA litigation to combat corporate power and hold the Administration accountable.
  • Priya Sreenivasan, who will challenge inhumane practices at CAR facilities in the U.S. South at Project South. 
  • Scott Stern, who will be joining Greenpeace International to use litigation to challenge slavery at sea.
  • Amy Tamayo, who will address the endemic sex discrimination that migrant worker women face in recruitment and employment at the Centro de Los Derechos de Migrante.
  • Chelsea Tejada, who will be working to protect the reproductive rights of noncitizen immigrants in government custody at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. 
  • Mudassar Toppa, who will be joining the CLEAR Project to provide legal representation for U.S. Muslims and all other constituencies that are targeted by government agencies under the guise of national security.
  • Zoe Tucker, who will support workers in asserting and expanding their protections against sexual assault and harassment with UNITE HERE Local 11.

In addition, Justice Catalyst is proud to partner with Public Rights Project on a joint fellowship program to promote innovative affirmative litigation and enforcement work in state and local government offices. The inaugural set of Justice Catalyst-Public Rights Project fellowship projects includes proposals from:

  • Abigail Burman, who will develop policies to support people who choose to self-manage their abortions at the Baltimore City Law Department. 
  • Kimberly Fayette, who will work with the New York City Commission on Human Rights to enforce NYCCHR’s ban on hair discrimination as well as other forms of anti-Blackness and other access to justice issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Sarah Levine, who will join the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia to protect low-wage workers in the District through affirmative litigation.
  • Melodie Meyer, who will be working with the Yurok Tribe’s Office of the Tribal Attorney in Klamath, CA to advocate for and implement indigenous climate justice. 
  • Rajiv Narayan, who will work to advance health equity at the Oakland City Attorney’s Office using the tools of local government and affirmative litigation.

A full list of fellows will be available at https://justicecatalyst.org/fellows/ and if you are a law student or recent graduate interested in a 2021-2022 Fellowship please visit https://justicecatalyst.org/get-started/ or contact fellowships@justicecatalyst.org. Justice Catalyst prioritizes groundbreaking ideas, including early-stage projects that are boundary-pushing in the pursuit of systemic solutions to major injustices, whether at an established legal organization or an organization looking to hire its first lawyer. More information at https://justicecatalyst.org/get-started/