2021 Dr. Aizik Wolf Post-BA Fellowship Spotlight: Thomas Hagan

The Pozen Center congratulates Thomas Hagan, AB’21, as the 2021 recipient of the Dr. Aizik Wolf Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship in Human Rights. This one-year fellowship, awarded to an exceptional College graduate to help them launch a career in human rights, will support Tommy’s continued work with the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), a comprehensive children’s law office housed at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. 

Tommy is a double major in Fundamentals and Philosophy whose thesis examines the philosophical foundations of prison abolitionism. On campus, he serves as co-director of the Bridge Writing Workshop, which facilitates creative writing programs at Cook County Jail and IYC-St. Charles.

Tommy first began working with the CFJC as a 2020 Human Rights Summer Intern and has continued interning part-time during the 2020-21 academic year as an inaugural Human Rights Lab Justice Intern. After co-authoring a report last summer on the CFJC’s Reimagining Youth Justice Project, Tommy’s current work at the CFJC focuses on The Final 5 Campaign—a coalition of system-impacted people, advocates, and organizers fighting for the closure of the five remaining Illinois youth prisons—which Tommy helped launch. 

“In my continued work with the Final 5 Campaign, I strive for a future rooted in the treatment of human beings as worthy of compassion—no matter their worst mistakes,” Tommy says. “This vision drives my pursuit of a society in which no one experiences the isolating and violent conditions of a prison cell.”

As the 2021 Wolf Fellow, Tommy will continue working alongside formerly incarcerated campaign co-leaders, building support for the campaign and raising awareness of the human rights abuses of youth incarceration. He also plans to develop a series of educational workshops on issues of juvenile justice, which he will use to facilitate conversations with young people currently incarcerated in Illinois youth prisons. 

Through this project, Tommy seeks to build on the critical task of centering and supporting incarcerated youth. “The conversations fostered through this project will go beyond amplifying the insights of those most impacted by youth prisons,” he says. “They will also develop the skills and political awareness of incarcerated youth, preparing them to be campaign leaders upon release.”

Stay tuned for more updates about Tommy’s work as a Wolf Fellow throughout his fellowship year!