The 2010 Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Fellows are:
Jeffrey Dortmans (Law 1)
Jeffrey will be spending his summer working as a research assistant at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. ICES is a renowned international research centre which, through the years, has pursued historically sensitive theoretical and empirical research on identity, inequality and conflict in relation to ethnicity, gender, and politics. ICES has been particularly influential in shaping policy and public imagination on issues of ethnic diversity and constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.
Jeffrey will be working on the ICES’ Democracy and Equality Program and will conduct interviews of citizens, government and military officials to inform his research on an appropriate process for reconciliation as Sri Lanka attempts to move from post war to a post conflict society.
Jeffrey earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Acadia University and was elected Valedictorian of his graduating class. Jeffrey has a longstanding commitment to social justice and an interest in constitutional reform. He is a volunteer caseworker at Community Legal Aid and an active member of the Windsor Law community.
A few days into his placement, Jeffrey commented “to do this type of work for the rest of my life would make me a happy man. I'll be here for 3 months, but I think I might need 3 years to really grasp the complexities of the conflict here”. We look forward to hearing more about Jeffrey’s experiences in the weeks to come.
Nailah Gordon-Decicieo (Law 1)
Nailah’s summer will be spent at the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) in Toronto, Ontario. OJEN is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, education, and dialogue to support a responsive and inclusive justice system.
Public understanding of the principles and the workings of our justice system is essential in a democratic society. Educational programs and dialogue between justice sector representatives and members of the wider community provide opportunities to strengthen this understanding. Many thousands of students and others participate in OJEN’s justice education programs each year. Programs are provided by hundreds of volunteers including judges, lawyers, court staff, and teachers committed to facilitating a better understanding of our justice system throughout our diverse population and geography.
Nailah’s work will be varied and is expected to include the development of public education programs, access to justice research and community outreach.
Nailah completed an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree prior to attending Windsor Law. She is an active member of many student groups, a volunteer at Community Legal Aid and has served as the Law 1 Faculty Council representative during her first year of legal studies.
Nailah was originally selected to receive the Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship in Africa but had to change her plans to accommodate a travel advisory warning against travel to the region she planned to attend. She remains very committed to social justice advocacy and is confident that she can use this opportunity to make a positive contribution locally in Ontario.
Ashley Henbrey (Law 1)
Ashley is the recipient of the Saul Nosanchuk Social Justice Fellowship in Criminal Law. She will be spending her summer in Toronto at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, a not-for-profit organization that provides a broad range of programs and services to women who have experienced many different forms of violence, including partner assault, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. The Clinic is named in honour of Barbra Teena Schlifer who was brutally raped and murdered in 1980 on the eve of her Call to the Ontario Bar.
Ashley completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Law prior to starting at Windsor Law. She has conducted research on women’s rights issues and most notably, completed her graduate theses on the prevention, suppression and punishment of trafficking of women and children. Ashley has previously participated in an internship to Buenos Aires, Argentina where she conducted research on workers’ rights.
Ashley is committed to pursuing a career in women’s rights advocacy and remains active in many organizations that assist women. She is a volunteer caseworker at Community Legal Aid and an active member of the Windsor Chapter of the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights.
Gloria Huh (Law 1)
Gloria Huh will spend her summer in Hamilton, Ontario working with the Hamilton Legal Clinic, a legal aid clinic, and its partner, the Housing Help Centre. She will provide legal assistance to clients of the clinic and assist with broader public education programs. She is excited to organize a conference on housing law and to participate in the Clinic’s role in shaping public policy in relation to housing rights and issues.
Gloria was initially attracted to Windsor Law in part because of the Social Justice Fellowship Program. She plans to pursue a career in social justice advocacy as sees this fellowship as an opportunity to explore not only how the law and the marginalized intersect but to gain insight into social justice careers.
Gloria has been active in many social justice activities including volunteering at a homeless shelter, participating in community development in Mexico City, and she has a longstanding interest in Aboriginal legal issues.
Sara Nagalingam (Law 1)
Sara will be spending her summer at the Equitas International Center for Human Rights Education in Montreal where she will conduct research on international human rights and assist with educational programs delivered around the world.
Equitas is a global leader in human rights education having been established as a non-profit, non-governmental organization in 1967 by a group of leading Canadian scholars, jurists and human rights advocates with a mandate to advance democracy, human development, peace and social justice through educational programs.
Sara completed her undergraduate degree in both criminology and business management where she learned not only about the issues that social justice organizations deal but also the financial barriers that challenge them. She chose to attend Windsor Law to gain the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for, and make meaningful advances in, human rights and civil liberties.
Sara is an active Rotarian and in 2006, she led a team of students on a Hurricane Katrina Relief Trip. She has directed literacy workshops to minority groups that have struggled with restricted access to education and justice. Most recently, Sara has been involved with the Windsor Law chapters of Pro Bono Students Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Lawyers Abroad, Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights and The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.
Jessica Spataro (Law 1)
Jessica will return to Thailand to work with the Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia (COSA). COSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in South East Asia. COSA operates from a community development approach, providing support, safety and opportunity to children who are victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. Working closely with local organizations, COSA assists in developing strong empowered communities and provides a positive future for children and young women.
Jessica will work primarily with a brand new shelter for sexually exploited, abused and at-risk girls to provide a safe home, a solid local education, vocational skills for the future, encouragement to follow their dreams and hope for a better future.
Jessica has travelled extensively including Thailand, Africa and Europe. She is interested in a career in international human rights law and views this fellowship as an opportunity to acquire field experience in the international non-governmental community. Jessica is an active member of the Windsor Law chapters of Canadian Lawyers Abroad and Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights. She is also a volunteer caseworker at Community Legal Aid.
The Recipient of the Windsor Law Alumni Social Justice Travel Subsidy is:
Chelsea Hishon (Law 1)
Chelsea will be working in Bangkok with ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), an international child rights organization where she will research national legislation and procedures relating to ECPAT's mandate and assist in the operation of various ECPAT initiatives and programs.
Chelsea was selected by Canadian Lawyers Abroad-Avocats canadiens a l'etranger (CLA-ACE) to participate in the 2010 Summer Student Internship Program and will also receive support and funding through the efforts of CLA.
Canadian Lawyers Abroad is a national organization engaging in groundbreaking work in the developing world in areas of good governance, rule of law and human rights. Director of Student Programs, Monique Moreau announced Chelsea's selection. "Chelsea is to be congratulated as this was, similarly to last year, an extremely competitive process with students across the country vying for a small number of internships" she noted.
Chelsea holds an Honours degree in Psychology and Sociology. Prior to attending law school, she was a child and youth worker in both residential and school settings and a Program Manager for a residential facility. In addition to her role with the Windsor Law chapter of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, Chelsea is an active student volunteer at Community Legal Aid.
Congratulations to all!