2017 Human Rights Center Fellows

The Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law works with University of California campuses to provide fellowships for students wishing to contribute their energy and expertise to human rights organizations worldwide. More than 300 Human Rights Center Fellowships have provided opportunities for meaningful human rights work. Special thanks to Dr. Thomas J. White who makes the Fellowship Program possible. 

Nathalie Alegre

J.D. student (1L), School of Law, UC Berkeley

EarthRights International (Lima, Peru)

Nathalie will be working as a legal intern at the Amazon Program offices of EarthRights International (ERI) in Lima, Peru. ERI is an international NGO working to end violations of human rights and environmental rights. ERI works closely with local grassroots organizations and spearheads legal actions against state entities and corporate perpetrators in international, regional, and domestic courts. Nathalie will help ERI continue its work protecting earth rights defenders who have been attacked and criminalized by police in Peru and across Latin America. She will also develop a toolkit to educate local community members about their participatory rights related to mega projects that extract natural resources.

 

Peter Bittner

M.J. student, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Ger Community Mapping Center (Mongolia)

Peter will be working with Ger Community Mapping Center to tell the stories of Mongolia’s climate refugees—nomadic herders forced to relocate to urban areas due to desertification, grassland degradation, and increasingly extreme weather. To achieve this, Peter will produce a series of bilingual videos to educate both local and international audiences on the serious threats to herders’ livelihoods presented by climate change and explore methods of adaptation and mitigation. Peter is a New Media student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. 

 

Levi Bridges 

M.J. ’17, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

Public Radio International (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Levi will work with Public Radio International’s program The World, a coproduction of WGBH (Boston) and the BBC, focusing on immigration in southern Mexico. He will produce a series of radio stories about the abuses suffered by Central American migrants in Mexico due to a U.S.-financed initiative called the Southern Border Program that aims to stop migrants from making it to the United States. He is a 2017 graduate of the radio program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

 

Isabelle Carbonell

Ph.D. student, Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz

The Movement of people Affected by Dams – MAB (Brazil) 

The Bento Rodrigues dam and reservoir, which held over 60 million cubic meters of toxic waste from local industrial iron mining operations, collapsed suddenly on November 6, 2015,, releasing a torrent of toxic sludge into the Rio Doce river. The disaster, also known as the Rio Doce disaster, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has been called the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history. With the help of MAB, the only organization with a sustained response to the disaster, Isabelle will be co-producing a multilinear, interactive, web-based, participatory documentary exploring issues of access to clean water and asking the question: What is suffering in a post-disaster landscape? 

 

Alexandra Carter

M.P.H student, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (San Francisco)

Alex will join the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California to protect and advance reproductive freedoms across the state. As a member of the Reproductive Justice team, Alex will work to enforce legislation on comprehensive sexual health education in public schools, create tools to support district compliance and conduct research to collaborate with litigators on interdisciplinary action.

 

Sarah M. Lakhani, PhD

J.D. student (1L), School of Law, UC Berkeley

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Immigrant Justice Program (San Francisco, CA)

Sarah will partner with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, a legal nonprofit that provides free legal aid to individuals on civil legal matters through direct representation, impact litigation, and policy advocacy. Sarah will work with the organization’s Immigrant Justice and Economic Justice Programs. She will help develop business formation and estate planning materials for noncitizen business owners, deliver direct legal services to immigrants pursuing U.S. legalization opportunities, and assist in litigation challenging unconstitutional detention conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Stefanie Le

M.J. student, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

International Criminal Court (The Hague)

Stefanie will work in the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Court to implement open source techniques to investigate human rights abuses in multiple areas around the globe. The OTP has only recently begun using high-tech tools for investigation—tools that could ultimately provide critical evidence that helps exonerate or convict perpetrators accused of human rights violations. This intelligence work would directly contribute to the OTP’s mission to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Additionally, this evidence will support the OTP’s desire to develop standard operating procedures for open source investigations for themselves and courts around the world. 

 

Juan Ramirez

M.P.P. student, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Compromiso Ciudadano por Colombia (Colombia)

Juan will work with Compromiso Ciudadano, an independent political movement in Colombia that promotes education, anti- corruption, and reconciliation as key policy issues after the country’s recent peace process. Juan will support Compromiso’s citizen mobilization strategy to promote citizen engagement and civil rights. He will design and facilitate workshops with the community, research and test methodologies to expand civic participation, and design and implement trainings for leaders and potential candidates who want to spearhead Compromiso’s policy platform.

 

Sarah Schear

M.D. and M.S. student, UC Berkeley–UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program 

Pallium India (Trivandrum, India)

Sarah will partner with the organization Pallium India, a model of compassionate, high quality palliative care and pain treatment in India which seeks to improve access to such care throughout the country. She will interview palliative care providers and advocates across India about activism they have undertaken and challenges they face in securing the human rights of seriously ill and dying patients. This data will be used to document effective advocacy strategies that can contribute to palliative care expansion in India and other countries.

 

Alice Taylor

Ph.D. student, Graduate School of Education

Plan International, Brazil (Recife)

Alice will be partnering with Plan International Brazil (Recife) and other organizations including Promundo to conduct research in Northeast and Northern regions of Brazil. She will explore gender and youth aspirations with regard to relationships, education, and actions to prevent violence and promote human rights. This will include structural factors as well as individual agency.

 

 

Caroline Tracey

Ph.D. student, Geography, UC Berkeley

South Texas Human Rights Center (Falfurrias, TX)

Caroline will work with the South Texas Human Rights Center (STHRC), an organization that works to promote policies that prevent migrant deaths, strengthen the capacity of families to locate missing loved ones, and increase public awareness of migrant deaths and the militarization of the border. Caroline will provide general assistance in the STHRC office, working with regional landowners to expand and maintain water stations in the surrounding desert, and using GIS to create a map of the region that incorporates information useful for both internal and external (awareness) purposes.

 

Andrea Trewinnard 

J.D. student (1L), School of Law, UC Berkeley 

Syrian Archive (Berlin, Germany) 

Andrea will work with the Syrian Archive, an initiative dedicated to preserving open-source documentation of human rights violations and other crimes committed during the Syrian conflict. Her research will provide recommendations regarding how to structure the Archive to be responsive to the needs of the human rights legal community. This will include suggested standards for the collection, organization, and verification of citizen media so that it may be used as evidence of war crimes in future legal proceedings.

 

Marianinna Villavicencio

Ph.D. student, Department of Anthropology, UC San Diego

WINGS (Guatemala)

Marianinna will work with WINGS, a non-profit organization that provides quality reproductive health services to more than 217,000 underserved, rural Guatemalans, most of whom are Mayan. She will be working as a member of the Evaluation Team which collaborates with the community-based reproductive health program to better understand the needs of beneficiaries and assess the quality of the organization’s services. The findings of this research project will shape future health care services and training that WINGS provides to these communities.

 

Youstina Youssef

Political Science major, Global Poverty and Practice minor, UC Berkeley

Small Projects Istanbul (Turkey)

Youstina will partner with Small Projects Istanbul, a community-based organization working to support families and individuals displaced by conflict in the Middle East and North Africa regions, especially Syrian refugees. Youstina will launch the organization’s first children’s summer camp geared towards addressing post-war trauma in safe and healthy settings as well as providing space for refugee children to simply have fun. Her insights as a Middle Eastern refugee and a former camp counselor inspire her to design a fun, thoughtful, psycho-socially informed blueprint for this needed program.