The UW Center for Human Rights is proud to present seven fellowships to students for their human rights work.
ASHLEEN O’BRIEN, ABE OSHEROFF AND GUNNEL CLARK FELLOW
Ashleen will continue her organizing work with the No New Women Prison (NNWP) collective. NNWP was formed in November 2019 in response to the Washington State Department of Corrections’ (DOC) plan to expand Maple Lane, a closed juvenile detention facility in rural Thurston County, into a new 700-bed women’s prison. In late April, Thurston County Commissioners tabled the decision to rezone Maple Lane into a prison for women, citing community opposition. While NNWP saw this as an early victory, they believe the DOC is likely to bring up the possibility of another site, or indeed revisit the possibility of using Maple Lane, next year, as part of their longer-term goal of expanding the state’s capacity to incarcerate women. For this reason, NNWP will continue to build a strong network between currently-incarcerated women and outside advocates — to ensure that as the struggle continues, activists continue to center the experiences, needs, and views of those directly affected by incarceration.
RYAN GOEHRUNG (LEFT) AND RACHEL CASTELLANO (RIGHT), DR. LISA SABLE BROWN FELLOWS
Ryan and Rachel will work together on a project to study the legal consciousness of human trafficking victims, which they believe, could prove invaluable in the fight against human trafficking. “If we could understand how victims of trafficking understand their rights, the legal system, and when, why, and how, they choose to engage with law enforcement, we may be able to better equip law enforcement personnel to make themselves available and approachable and work towards empowering victims of trafficking to utilize the legal system to escape their circumstances.”
DANIELLE BROWN (LEFT) AND SHIXIN HUANG (RIGHT), PETER MACK AND JAMIE MAYERFELD FELLOWS
Danielle aims to trace the history and construction of her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, as a Black space. She draws on the work of Black radical and feminist geographers to argue that “Black spaces – as sites of memory and resistance – are venues for the realization of the African American diasporic communities’ struggle for human rights. Shixin’s project, entitled “Claiming disability rights in China: Navigating between international discourses and authoritarian politics,” explores the ways in which western organizations’ support for disability rights converges and competes with authoritarian politics in her native China.
Thomas will spend part of this summer as a Peggy Browning Fund Labor Law Fellow at the local law firm of Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt, seeking to deepen his knowledge of labor law through in-depth legal research, mentorship, and by continuing his work with Yakima farmworkers to strengthen the ties of independent worker-movements with the legal professionals that seek to serve them. For the remainder of the summer and into the fall, he will continue to support our Center’s ongoing research on immigrant rights in our state. Tara will be spearheading the Center’s initiative to monitor the implementation of the Keep Washington Working Act, passed by our state’s legislature in May 2019 to limit the collaboration of state and local officials with civil immigration enforcement.