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2022 Gallatin Global Fellows

Jonathan Adler

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (New York)
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network

Jonathan is a master’s student in Near Eastern Studies at the Kevorkian Center. After graduating from Yale University in 2018, he spent a year studying Arabic in Amman and working at Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Before joining NYU, Jonathan was a policy assistant at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and managing editor of Tadween Publishing, a project of the Arab Studies Institute. His writing has been published in various outlets and journals, including +972 Magazine, Jadaliyya, The North Carolina Historical Review, and Jewish Historical Studies. This summer, Jonathan plans to work with Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, a think tank that offers critical analysis of Palestine-related policy issues and helps to amplify Palestinian voices in the media. He will support Al-Shabaka’s research and writing efforts, work that will inform his ongoing research on the history of U.S policy towards Palestinian refugees.


Luisa Alarcón Criales

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Fellowship Organization Location: Colombia
Fundación Red de Mujeres

Luisa Alarcón Criales is a master's student in Performance Studies and a New York City-based physical actor, theater director, and anthropologist from Cali, Colombia. She is interested in examining how women’s performance interventions surged as a form of resistance in defense of their human rights during the summer 2021 uprisings in Colombia. Her research will focus on the performance of failure of various written human rights formats. These texts will include the Colombian Constitution, the Peace Agreement Signed Accords, the Human Rights Watch annual reports, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of which have and continue to fail to protect the Colombian population. By studying the performance of failed human rights texts within Colombia, together with the Fundación Red de Mujeres Warmi Yuma performances of these failures as an act of resistance, she will challenge the idea of fundamental human rights as a realized and achievable concept.


Reem Djebli

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA
WISE Afghanistan

Reem is a sophomore at Gallatin pursuing a concentration in social justice with a focus on how grassroots organizing and public policy work impact social justice movements. She’s passionate about learning in the fields of social impact, human rights, leadership, and community organizing through an intersectional lens. She has a particular interest in justice movements led by and for women and gender-marginalized people of color across the globe. As a first-generation Algerian-American, Reem is deeply connected to exploring feminist movements in the SWANA region. This summer, she will work with WISE Afghanistan, an organization that works on equitable community building for Afghan women through providing access to education, healthcare, and promoting economic development. Through her position, she hopes to work alongside these women as they fight for their decolonial, anti-imperialist vision for equity for women in Afghanistan.


Olivia Epley

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Fellowship Organization Location: United Kingdom 
Disability Wales

Olivia is a junior in Gallatin studying her own concentration, titled Mental Illness and the Criminal Legal System. She will also have completed a minor in Disability Studies upon graduation in May 2023. Having been a special education student and identifying as a person with multiple disabilities, Olivia is extremely passionate about disability justice and rights for the marginalized. This summer, she will partner with Disability Wales in Caerphilly, Wales, in order to advocate for people with disabilities in Wales and the U.K. and work alongside folks with disabilities. As a Global Human Rights Fellow, Olivia is most interested in learning how intersectional identities, which include disability, can be best served under the human rights model. 


Cynthia Lee

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (New York)
The NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health

Cynthia is an MPH student in Health Policy and Management, with an MS degree in Global Health and BA degree in Health Care Administration in Taipei Medical University. She is also a standing director in the Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association, one of the NGOs in Taiwan. Her main interest is health policy, public diplomacy, and NGO management. She is interested in exploring the cooperation between the government sector and the NGOs and seeing what kinds of enforcement mechanisms exist among human rights. Her study aims to explore what type of government obligations exist under the human rights law to resolve ethnic health differences and what enforcement mechanisms exist (focusing on Asian Americans). This summer, she will work with the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health and the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development (CEHD), in NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health. Cynthia will be focused on several research projects focusing on mental health intervention projects for minority children and their families. The projects include implementation strategy development to broaden child mental health knowledge dissemination and evidence-based intervention utilization in diverse community-based organizations and pediatric service settings where Asian American families are most likely to seek services.

Zoe Lee

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (Chicago)
Burma Task Force

Zoe is an MLK Jr. scholar and a first-year student at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, concentrating in Law and Ethics with a focus on their intersection with tech policy. Her previous work at the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and her studies at Gallatin piqued her interest in innovative approaches to human rights frameworks and the various ways in which existing frameworks can be used. In this fellowship at Burma Task Force, a project of Justice for All, she will focus on the use of social media in the perpetration of genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and the further implications of social media in fueling hate against marginalized groups. Her goal is to understand the ways policy and rights discourse can be effectively employed to ensure proper regulation of powerful tech companies in their approach to the proliferation of hate speech. 


Nikki Meyers

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Fellowship Organization Location: Mexico and USA (San Diego)
Al Otro Lado

Nikki Myers is a third year student at Gallatin studying Latina Representation in Global Media. Her concentration focuses on how media shapes the political, cultural, and economic circumstances of Latin American women, especially as they become a significant demographic in the U.S.. Nikki is a first-generation Dominican-American, which ties into her interest in advocating for Latin American women across the world. One of the specific issues she is interested in addressing is the oppressive U.S. immigration system and how it affects migrants coming from Latin America. Her work this summer with Al Otro Lado will include preparing migrants for asylum hearings, conducting legal intakes, and special projects relating to international human rights monitoring along the border. Nikki's work will also focus on an abolitionist approach to the border crisis, advocating for the end of detention centers and the harmful government conditions that categorize migrants into undocumented status. 


Sophia Opferman

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (New York)
Urban Justice Center

Sophia is a sophomore at Gallatin studying Human Rights, Postcolonialism, and Law, with a minor in Public Policy. Her project focuses on the role of law in the formation and perpetuation of injustice and the potentials and limitations of the law as a remedy with a specific focus on mass incarceration. She hopes that this research will help her to grapple with the structuralization of racial inequality. This summer, Sophia will be working with the Urban Justice Center’s Freedom Agenda Project, which aims at decarceration and system transformation in order to defend the human rights of those impacted by the carceral system.


Eric Raimondi

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Fellowship Organization Location: Greece
Still I Rise NGO

Eric is an M.A. student at the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies and graduated with a B.A. in Historical and Middle Eastern Studies from Bard College. He is interested in migration studies, material infrastructure, and littoral geographies. Upon graduating from Bard, Eric received a Davis Project for Peace Fellowship, which he used to develop a structured English language curriculum at the Mazi Center for refugees on Samos Island, Greece. He then went on to work as the Education Coordinator for an Arabic and English language school in Gaziantep, Turkey. Through advocacy work with Still I Rise NGO, combined with research on the Zervou Multi-Purpose Reception and Identification Centre, Eric’s project seeks to use testimonies from refugees and asylum seekers, security guards and camp officials, humanitarian aid workers, and members of the local Greek population to explore how recent changes in camp design, location, and infrastructure impact human rights of migrants at Europe’s border. 


Karen Santos

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Fellowship Organization Location: Puerto Rico

Karen graduated with honors from BMCC, majoring in Writing and Literature. Born and raised in Cuba, she emigrated to Equatorial Guinea where she fell in love with West African languages and cultures. She is a third-year student at Gallatin. Her concentration examines women’s experiences and how they frame their imaginary and actual power in society, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has worked with Mixteca Organization in Brooklyn, NY, as a volunteer Spanish language teacher, leading adult literacy and intergenerational Spanish learning courses. In the summer, she will be working in Vieques, Puerto Rico, with HASER (Taking Resilient Socio-Ecological Actions), particularly on one of their projects: La Colmena Cimarrona (Maroon Hive). Karen will focus on community-organizing initiatives, such as designing courses that promote food independence, justice, collaboration, and inclusion. She will also participate by working on their farm and helping organize a farmers’ market.


Maggie Stutz

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (Anchorage)
Alaska Community Action on Toxins

Maggie is a junior at Gallatin pursuing a concentration in Disaster Politics, explicitly investigating how economic, social, and political systems work together to not only cause disasters but hinder the effect of disaster relief, prevention and infrastructure. She is also interested in studying what disasters reveal about more significant political issues. Her independent study focuses on government regulation, or lack thereof, on disaster infrastructure, why planning to prevent disasters is not the main priority for many governments worldwide, and how this affects fundamental human rights to a clean environment and safe living conditions. This summer, she will work with the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, which works to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals that harm the environment and the people within Alaska and nationwide. They investigate, endorse and educate to help prevent the use of toxins hindering people’s right to a clean and healthy environment and life.


Huma Umar

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (New York)

Huma is a junior at NYU Abu Dhabi, majoring in Social Research and Public Policy, with a concentration in public health. Originally from Pakistan, Huma is interested in development studies, gender studies and queer histories grounded in a study of South Asia. She seeks to explore ways in which human rights frameworks can be better attuned to serve the needs of marginalized identities in the region. Through the fellowship, Huma plans on researching gender based violence, reproductive justice, and community health with a focus on how forms of trauma that arise out of GBV manifest in the mental, physical and emotional health of individuals in the South Asian diaspora. She also hopes to gain experience in survivor-centric and trauma informed modes of grassroots advocacy.


Laura Zhang

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Fellowship Organization Location: USA (Los Angeles)
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project

Laura is a junior at Gallatin concentrating on Human Rights Legal and Social Empowerment with a focus on immigrant and refugee communities and a minor in Creative Writing. She is passionate about exploring the intersections of art and creative productions with legal structures and how individuals reimagine agency through empowerment practices. Laura has been involved in many community projects through Amnesty International at NYU and currently teaches migrant and refugee students at the International High School in Queens. This summer she will work with Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project, an organization that represents, advocates for, and educates immigrants in the Los Angeles area. She will specifically work within the Released Youth Program for unaccompanied immigrant minors doing work including intake forms, assisting in legal cases, and developing pro se materials for workshops.