19th Class, 2012-2013
Field Placement: Causa Justa Just Cause (Oakland, CA)
In Oakland, Irene helped recruit community members to be active in Causa Justa’s immigrant rights campaign. She conducted Know your Rights trainings in Latino communities and connected them to services, helped to document human rights abuses experienced by the immigrant community in Oakland, and supported the development of campaign leaders.
Hunger Free Community Report:
From the Base: The Human Impact of Secure Communities in Alameda County is a compilation of stories and thoughts shared by community members during Know your Rights trainings and community forums on the impact of the Secure Communities program.
Policy Placement: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) (Washington, DC)
Irene supported the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s work on immigrant and labor rights by developing education and advocacy materials for local congregations on immigration policy issues.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Originally from Cicero, IL, Irene graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in social policy. She interned with legal clinics and women’s empowerment groups in Chicago in order to help low-income victims of domestic violence access legal assistance and support groups. Irene also interned and conducted research for a women’s advocacy organization focused on making workplaces fairer for low-paid workers. She cofounded mentoring groups for at-risk high school students and volunteered in community organizations working to erase disparities in education.