Gabryelle Matz-Carter

JD, Law, French


Gabryelle Matz-Carter, a second-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law, was awarded the FLAS Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Although raised in Seattle, I chose to move to the other Washington to attend Howard University, my alma mater. While there, I studied both French and Political Science, taking courses on comparative law, governance, and neocolonialism in Francophone Africa. I found these classes both fascinating and frustrating, as they quickly revealed how deeply our history is entrenched in the ideology of European exceptionalism.

Still, the more I learned, the more inquisitive I became. This curiosity eventually led me to Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal, where I spent a year studying International Business and Development Economics. In my travels, I saw firsthand how Western nations’ foreign policies directly correlate to their economic interests. Gaining a deeper understanding of the true motivations behind the investments countries like Canada and the US make in Francophone countries will better equip me to advocate against the exploitative diplomatic strategies these countries deploy. I plan to one day challenge the post-colonial institutions plaguing Senegal alongside the racist narratives the West has promulgated in an attempt to justify them.

To become this international advocate, I applied to law school so that I can engage with like-minded peers who are also interested in the legal nature of socio-political, commercial, and business affairs around the world. As a JD Candidate and FLAS Fellow, I’m excited to continue to enhance my understanding of precedent in the Eurocracy, Canada, and the United States. With the fortified French speaking skills I gain through this Fellowship, I hope to continue to shed light on the unique ways these regions can utilize the myriad of laws and directives at their disposal to eradicate post-colonial doctrine in Francophone countries around the world.