Human Rights Interns Set to Begin Their Summer Experiences

There's no doubt that the 27 students in this year's cohort of Human Rights Interns are about to begin very different internship experiences than they had originally imagined. Many will be working remotely for most, if not all, of their summers. But with human rights issues ascendant in the news and national discourse to an unprecedented degree, there’s arguably never been a better time to engage with the practical realities of human rights work and make an impact across a range of issue areas.

This year’s Human Rights Interns will be working in a variety of fields, on issues including LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, legal aid, and mass incarceration and policing. Here is just a sample of the amazing work they’ll be doing:

Lisette Gonzalez-Flores, AB’21 (Sociology) will be working with el Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI), based in Mexico City. Lisette tells us that she’ll serve “as a legal and policy researcher on topics regarding international and Mexican refugee/migration laws.” Her work will consist of investigating “the impact of climate change on the migration experiences of Central American women and the challenges facing women seeking asylum on the basis of sexual/gender-based violence.” Lisette will be part of a rich lineage at IMUMI, as the third Human Rights Intern to work with the organization in the last five years.

In this moment when prison abolition has quickly become a widely debated idea, Thomas Hagan, AB’21 (Philosophy, Fundamentals: Issues and Texts) will do his internship with Children and Family Justice Center, working on a campaign to close the five youth detention centers still operating in Illinois. He will help “produce campaign curriculum materials alongside system-impacted youth, as well as craft reports to be presented to legislators on the negative impacts of youth incarceration.”

Dominique Janvier, AB’21 (Public Policy) will spend her summer working with Voice of Witness, an education and oral history nonprofit based in San Francisco. As a policy research intern who will be working on her own independent research project, Dominique will find ways that the organization “can contribute meaningfully to advocacy efforts in human rights.” In exploring various strategies and methods, Dominique will “make recommendations for which organizations, coalitions, campaigns, and policies to engage with and support.”

Catherine O’Carroll, AB’21 (Public Policy) will intern with the Seattle-based Lavender Rights Project, “a legal advocacy group that advances a more just and equitable society by providing low-cost civil legal services and community programming centered in values of social justice for trans and queer low-income people and other marginalized communities.” In addition to conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, and assisting attorneys with cases, Catherine will work on a project that interrogates “the role of surveillance and the regulation of trans identities within social and political structures in the U.S.”

In the midst of so much uncertainty concerning the novel coronavirus, Jin Yoon, AB’21 (Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Sociology) will do organizing work with Little Tokyo Service Center in Los Angeles, engaging and supporting residents of the Little Tokyo neighborhood as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. This work consists of “outreach to residents in low-income and senior housing developments to assist with issues-based community organizing and building long-term sustainable relationships with the residents.”

Regardless of what shape this summer’s internships take, we wish all of our Human Rights Interns a safe, healthy, and enriching experience with an incredible range of host organizations. As always, we’re excited to see what all of you do next!