Sayeed headshot

Emerson Fellow

Almas Sayeed

12th Class, 2005-2006

Field Placement: FoodChange (New York, NY)

Almasco-researched and co-authored a report examining immigrant access to the Federal Food Stamp Program.  The project included a quantitative analysis of the number of eligible and non-participating immigrants living in New York City as well as an investigation of the primary institutional barriers that impact immigrants’ Program access.  In addition, Almas co-hosted a city-wide community forum of legal, anti-hunger and immigrant rights advocates to discuss how to improve social policy and outreach strategies to increase eligible immigrant participation.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Access to the Federal Food Stamp Program: An In-Depth Analysis of New York City’s Immigrant Communities, Estimates of Unmet Need and Barriers to Access, co-authored with field site partner Elizabeth McCarthy, is a comprehensive analysis of the context of immigrant food stamp access in New York City.  The report includes maps of each of the City’s five boroughs highlighting those zip codes with the greatest concentration of eligible and non-participating immigrants and the results of advocate interviews describing those barriers that disproportionately impact immigrant communities.  The final section of the report outlines policymaker and advocate generated recommendations to improve immigrant access.

Policy Placement:  Center for American Progress (Washington, DC) 

Almasworked with the Economic Opportunity Program’s project on the impact of debt and abusive financial practices, such as pay day lending, on low and middle income households. Almas coordinated a regional town hall forum on debt related issues and writing a policy brief highlighting innovative policy-based solutions on abusive financial practices and debt.

Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:

Before the Fellowship, Almas worked with the Kansas State Legislature and the state’s Child Protective Services agency developing state policy and legislation on the intersection between child maltreatment and domestic violence.  In 2003, she was a Fulbright Fellow at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she worked with the European Commission of Technical Assistance and a legal service organization for Palestinian women, the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling.  As an undergraduate, Almas studied at Birzeit University in the West Bank, Palestinian Occupied Territories and worked for a micro-finance organization in Bangalore, India.  A native of Wichita, Kansas, Almas graduated with her BA with honors from the University of Kansas and earned her MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Economic Development.