Banks headshot

Emerson Fellow

Jalen Banks

28th Class, 2021-2022

Originally from Virginia, Jalen graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a major in Political Science and a minor in African American Studies. While at Cal, she served as Co-director of the Black Recruitment and Retention Center, tutored incarcerated students at San Quentin State Prison, performed extensive research on law enforcement conduct through the School of Public Health, and more. Jalen has a strong passion for racial equity and she recognizes that food justice is a crucial part of racial justice.

Field placement: Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Jalen worked at the Indigenous Food and Agriculture in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her work centered around the creation of educational materials to assist Tribes in the development and implementation of Agricultural Resource Management Plans.

Policy placement: Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice

Washington, D.C.

Jalen Banks works with the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice as a supporting member of the policy team. She assists in the collection and analysis of data on a wide variety of topics including the Child Tax Credit and Medicaid. Through these efforts, Jalen and the dedicated staff at the Kairos Center seek to expose the effects of federal policy on poor communities.