2018 Human Rights Center Fellows

The Human Rights Center, 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 315 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. 


Heba Alnajada

Ph.D. student, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley

Zawayed (Jordan)

Heba will work with Zawayed, a community empowerment organization, that through activism and the practice of design works on livelihood extension among Palestinian women in Jabal Al Natheef informal refugee settlement. At Zawayed, she will work in the weekly design workshops and help run the day-to-day to operations.

 


Safa Ansari-Bayegan

J.D. student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

The Southern Center for Human Rights (Atlanta, GA)

Safa will work with the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) in Atlanta, Georgia. SCHR is a non-profit law firm that works to end capital punishment, mass incarceration, and other criminal injustices that are used to control the lives of poor people and people of color in the South. Safa will serve as a direct advocate for an individual who is currently incarcerated at his or her Alabama Parole Board hearing. In addition to direct representation of her client, Safa will also contribute to SCHR’s parole advocacy materials. Development of these materials will allow future SCHR staff members and law clerks to better serve their own parole clients. 


Pieter Baker 

G.P.H. and Ph.D. student, School of Medicine, Infectious Disease, UC San Diego

Al Otro Lado (On the Other Side), (Mexico)

Pieter will partner with Al Otro Lado, a community-based organization operating in Tijuana, Mexico, whose mission is to protect human rights through legal representation and broader advocacy on behalf of indigent deportees, migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees. His research aims to describe and quantify health and mental health risks among asylum-seekers related to prolonged immigrant detention, separation of family units, and other exposures associated with U.S. immigration enforcement. The purpose of this work is to translate evidence-based public health research into human rights advocacy.


Karin Bashir

J.D. student, School of Law, UC Berkeley

Advocates Abroad (Greece)

Karin will contribute to legal aid efforts of Advocates Abroad which is a non-profit organization that provides legal services to refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. First, Karin will spearhead an independent project and create a digital and pocket sized “legalese dictionary” in Arabic and Urdu for interpreters who assist refugees. Karin will also collect data regarding sexual harassment experienced by women in the camp and use it to determine areas of the camp that have high rates of harassment. The information will be used in “know your rights” workshops run by Advocates Abroad to inform women of the safest times of day to be in certain areas.


Tania DoCarmo

Ph.D. student, Department of Sociology, UC Irvine

Chab Dai International (Cambodia)

Tania will work with Chab Dai International’s flagship office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, an NGO addressing human trafficking, abuse, and exploitation through coalition-building, capacity building and research. In Cambodia, Chab Dai facilitates a coalition and provides training for more than 50 local counter-trafficking organizations, and spearheads a number of national prevention programs, legal support services, and advocacy efforts against domestic and cross-border trafficking. Tania will collaborate with Chab Dai’s in-house team of Cambodian researchers to further build the team’s capacity in advanced research methodologies and assist with analyzing the organization’s longitudinal data on outcomes among trafficking survivors after they receive services and return home. As part of her doctoral research, she will also assist the organization with documenting local best practices and challenges among counter-trafficking professionals.


Derrika Hunt

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

Parijat Academy and Assam Human Rights Commission (India)

Derrika will partner with Parijat Academy, a local, non-profit school in Assam, India, to explore the complex relationships among education initiatives for girls, gender inequity, and development. Derrika will conduct ethnographic research and work with local community organizations, such as the Assam Human Rights Commission to develop a local best practices toolkit regarding the implementation of education for girls. Derrika’s research aims to understand and tap into local conceptualizations of education that do not homogenize third world girls, ignore their experiences, or position them as in need of western schooling to be educated.


Jennifer Jones 

J.D. student, School of Law, UCLA

Center for Constitutional Rights (New York, NY)

Jennifer will join the Government Misconduct and Racial Justice Docket at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, where she will research the utilization of international human rights principles in addressing anti-Black police violence and discriminatory law enforcement practices in the United States. CCR is a national legal, advocacy, and educational organization committed to upholding the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Jennifer will leverage CCR’s relationships with grassroots organizations to collaborate in drafting a petition to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and produce a report analyzing the impact the human rights framework has had on the movement for Black lives.


Seigi Karasaki

Ph.D. student, Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (Oakland, CA)

Seigi will partner with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the lead state agency within the California Environmental Protection Agency for assessing environmental health risks. Assisting OEHHA’s work in environmental justice and drinking water access, Seigi will focus on understanding the current state of the human right to water in rural, disadvantaged, and unincorporated California. His research methods will consist of qualitative analysis paired with machine learning applications in remote sensing.


Bernadette Lim

M.D./M.S. student, UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program

Asian Health Services Youth Program and Banteay Srei (Oakland, CA)

Bernadette will work with Asian Health Services Youth Program (AHSYP) and Banteay Srei in Oakland, California, to initiate a safe, creative space for Southeast Asian young women who are at risk or engaged in sexual exploitation. She will do this by implementing We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: A Health Education and Social Justice Art Initiative, a program she specifically designed for AHSYP and Banteay Srei that centers the narratives and voices of underserved young women through art and opportunities to speak for change. In addition, she will produce a curriculum toolkit that will serve as a guide for upcoming program iterations with future generations of young women activists and leaders.


Sammy Mehtar

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

Assistance Coordination Unit (Turkey)

Sammy is working with Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU), an NGO based in Gaziantep, Turkey, that works to maximize the impact of assistance provided to the people of Syria by coordinating the efforts of the numerous actors involved. They are focused, in part, on studying four years of surveillance data that covers much of Syria. We hope to study potential risk factors associated with conflict and infectious disease morbidity and mortality, to better triage relief efforts.


Sophie Perl

Undergraduate student, Political Science major, Global Poverty and Practice and Human Rights minors, UC Berkeley

Article One (Berkeley, CA)

Sophie will be working with Article One, a Berkeley-based human rights consulting firm, to pioneer a research initiative in partnership with UNICEF to bring a child rights lens to the issue of global labor exploitation. Sophie’s research will explore the specific needs of children and working families along corporate supply chains, as well as where opportunities for practical solutions, collaboration, and mutual benefit lie between the human rights space and the private sector.


Raed Rafei 

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

Helem (Lebanon)

Raed will work with Helem, an LGBTQ-rights organization based in Lebanon, making a documentary film, called “On the Natural.” The film will question the concept of “natural” in Raed’s hometown of Tripoli, Lebanon, where homosexuality is criminalized as an act against “the order of nature.”

 


Olivia Rempel

M.J. ’18, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

GRID-Arendal (Kenya & Norway)

Olivia will work with GRID-Arendal, a non-profit center that collaborates with the UN Environment Programme and other partners to communicate environmental issues to policymakers and the public. She will help the center build its video capacity by creating a short documentary that compliments a larger GRID-Arendal project, focused on wastewater management and sanitation in Africa—a massive environmental issue with deadly human consequences. Olivia will shoot this project in Kenya and then work in GRID-Arendal’s office in Norway.


Aleksandra Simonova

Ph.D. student, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

The Borderline and National Identity (Russia and Ukraine)

Aleksandra will research the relationship between history, memory, urban planning, and infrastructure in Russia and Ukraine. Those two countries, while being socio-culturally close for generations, are coming through a violent period of separation and mutual hostility. Aleksandra will question what changes in the social and cultural landscape have occurred since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. She will explore the ongoing borderline conflict between Russia and Ukraine in Crimea after 2014 and examine the metropolitan area of the city Armyansk that was split by the newly established border. She will explore how the border influences the economics of the metropolitan area of Armyansk, as well as what changes to social and material infrastructures have occurred because of the border.


Mavis Siu 

M.F.A. student, Social Documentation, UC Santa Cruz

Hong Kong In-media (HKIM) (Hong Kong)

Mavis will partner with Hong Kong In-media to produce a documentary focusing on the freedom of speech, thought, and creativity in the socio-political-historical-technological moments in Hong Kong today as part of her thesis for a Master’s degree in Social Documentation at UC Santa Cruz.

 


Yasemin Taskin-Alp 

Doctoral Student, Sociology, UC San Diego

Social Policy Forum (Turkey)

Yasemin will partner with the Social Policy Forum, a research and policy center in Istanbul, Turkey, that generates knowledge on the issues of social policy from a human rights perspective. The research will focus on the semi-formal early education centers in disadvantaged districts of Istanbul. This project will contribute to the Social Policy Forum’s work on poverty and social exclusion and right to education.


Levi Vonk

Ph.D. student, Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco 

Acarí (Mexico)

Levi will live and work with Central American migrants petitioning the Mexican government for legal status. He has partnered with Acarí, a social enterprise that endeavors to hire migrants, to apply for work visas on behalf of the company’s potential employees. He will document the impacts of migrants turning to the private sector for legalization, as well as the social obstacles that migrants encounter while integrating into Mexico City’s working-class neighborhoods.