12th Class, 2005-2006
Field Placement: National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness, Southern Regional Office (New Orleans, LA and Washington, DC)
Working in both New Orleans and Houston, TX, Brett conducted interviews with hurricane survivors, evacuees, church leaders, and service providers as part of NPACH’s Katrina-Rita Oral History Project. These interviews were distributed through NPACH’s website and through audio-visual presentations at fundraisers and meetings. Brett also assisted local grassroots groups in providing aid and assistance to individuals affected by Katrina.
Hunger Free Community Report:
Broken Promises incorporates interviews with individuals and families affected by Hurricane Katrina into an analysis of ongoing and emerging crises in the New Orleans region. The report offers a simple overview of the New Orleans area housing crisis, highlighting the lack of “affordable” housing; explores the difficulties faced by worker who have come to the city to help rebuild; and discusses how and why thousands of indigent defendants in the Orleans Parish Criminal Court system have been denied their constitutional rights to representation, due process, and a speedy trial.
Policy Placement: National Immigration Law Center (NILC) (Washington, DC)
Brett researched the experiences of immigrant communities in the Gulf Coast in regards to evacuation, relief, and reconstruction. He also investigated the degree to which federal, state, and local emergency plans take into consideration the unique needs of immigrant populations. Working with NILC’sGulfCoastpolicy team, Brett created a toolkit to help municipalities and service providers better incorporate the unique needs of immigrant populations into their disaster planning.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Brett, originally from Oklahoma, graduated from Rice University in 2004 with a degree in history. In college, he helped devise and implement a field study on the political socialization of young women; conducted research used in multiple books and articles on women in government; served as the captain of the Rice mock trial team, winning two state championships and one national championship in debate; and studied gentrification in Houston’s Fourth Ward.