Current Student Fellows

Abby Reyes

Abby Reyes directs the UCI Community Resilience Projects in the Office of Sustainability at the University of California, Irvine. The projects create human infrastructure through which climate and sustainability solutions foster and reflect participation and leadership of underrepresented communities in our university and beyond. From 2013-2016, Abby directed the UCI Sustainability Initiative and was a co-Principal Investigator of the FloodRISE project, leading the Research Integration and Impact Team. She co-chaired the Faculty Engagement and Education Working Group of the UC Global Climate Leadership Council and oversees UCI’s Global Sustainability Resource Center. She has provided facilitation and design services for the UC-CSU Knowledge Action Network on Transformative Climate and Sustainability Education, UCI Salton Sea Initiative, UCI OCEANS, Research Justice Learning Community, Nexus 2014, the Borrego Stewardship Council, and is the lead trainer for UC climate and food fellows in transformative sustainability leadership. She has also facilitated advocacy and research collaboration with indigenous communities in California, Colombia, and the Philippines, and contributed to landmark international human rights and environmental cases in domestic federal courts.

Reyes completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford and JD at UC Berkeley Law. She clerked for the Honorable Richard A. Paez on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and co-chairs the board of directors of EarthRights International. She is a partner in the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners and an ambassador for the Pollination Project.  Reyes received UC Irvine’s 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award and a 2016 California Higher Education Sustainability Best Practices Award. She has a TEDx talk on How to Come Home.

Ambereen Siddiqui

 In collaboration with the Sustainability Resource Center, CooperAcción Santa Ana, and CRECE Cooperativa, Ambereen is working with UCI Community Resilience Projects to research market conditions for new co-ops in Orange County and assist with weekly workshops that emphasize community ownership and economic justice. 

Ambereen Siddiqui is a first year PhD student at UCI. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2019 with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish. She is studying the connection between natural hazards and community mental health, with a focus on how membership in a marginalized group might impact one’s resilience to hazards. Her research centers philosophies of mutual aid, participatory action research, and intersectional feminism in the hopes of working with communities to dismantle the legacies of environmental racism and exploitation they have experienced. 
Esmeralda Hic

Esme is working as a Community Resilience Projects Fellow. She will be working alongside community leaders in Santa Ana on existing projects including Cooperacion Santa Ana and a youth-led investigation on lead soil levels in the community.

Esmeralda Hic is a fourth year, first generation college student at UCI. She is working towards her B.S. in Earth System Science and her B.A. in Chicano/Latino Studies. She is passionate about environmental justice and working with communities that face environmental inequity and hopes to use her degrees to problem solve issues within climate change science and social inequality. Her passion grew out of the environmental and social issues her community in the Coachella Valley faced from poor air quality caused by the deterioration of the Salton Sea to other pollution issues caused by the carelessness of corporations. She aims to work towards a future where access to a healthy environment is not just a privilege granted to those who have the social and political power to afford it but rather that everyone, regardless of race, income, ability, or gender, has access the clean air, water, and land that they deserve.  

Shirleen Achieng

She currently serves as the Global Climate Leadership Council (GCLC) and the UC Sustainability Steering Committee (UCSSC) student rep. Within the GCLC she is responsible for advising the University on achieving their goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 and other sustainability goals. As a part of the UCSSC, she is responsible for oversight of the systemwide Sustainable Practices Policy. Additionally, she will serve as a Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) fellow. Her goals within these roles are to examine the intersecting environmental, social justice, and racial crises that are occurring in contemporary society and how they affect the UC sustainability practices.

Shirleen is a fourth year public health science major at UCI. As a public health major, she felt the need to not only focus on the health of the general community, but values the importance of environmental health in relation to social justice. She is a previous community resilience fellow at UC Irvine. Her biggest inspiration for the Community Resilience Fellowship were her early background experiences of environmental inequality and injustice growing up in Kenya. She also hopes to advocate for the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion, within sustainability goals and practices at the UC system. Shirleen looks forward to interacting and collaborating with other CNI and GFI fellows to make sure student voices are expressed in GCLC and UCSSC meetings!

Campus and Community Collaborators

Academic Year 2019-2020 Faculty Advisory Group

Kaaryn Gustafson

Professor Gustafson’s research and scholarship is interdisciplinary and explores the role of law in remedying inequality—and in reinforcing inequality. Her research over the last decade focused on the expanding administrative overlap between the welfare and criminal justice systems, as well as the experiences of those individuals and families caught in those systems. Her current research explores the history of law in regulating African American families and in regulating labor among poor people of various ethnic backgrounds.

Alana LeBrón

Alana LeBrón, Ph.D., M.S., is an Assistant Professor of Public Health and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, her M.S. in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and her A.B. in Gender and Women’s Studies from Bowdoin College. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan.

Dr. LeBrón’s research focuses on the (re)production of social inequalities that shape inequities in health and opportunities for intervention to promote health equity. Much of Dr. LeBrón’s scholarship centers on the intersections of race, socioeconomic position, immigrant generation, citizenship status, and gender with health inequities, with a focus on the health of Latina/o communities. She engages a community-based participatory research approach to her research projects seeking to understand and address the structural determinants of health inequities. Her areas of research include the health equity implications of policies and ideologies pertaining to immigration, government-issued IDs, and health care and social service access and utilization. 

Valerie Olson

Valerie Olson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focus is the sociocultural processes that remake what counts as the “human environment.” Her projects are concerned with how social groups use the system concept to perceive, organize, and control spatial relations, particularly on large and complex scales. This focus allows her to examine how and why people create ways to relate to spaces, things, and processes they do not experience directly and which they categorize as “extreme” or “beyond” human.

Olson is involved in UCI’s inter-school environmental research, education, and community engaged programs as a key part of her research program. She serves on interdisciplinary teams and campus initiatives such as Water UCI, the Salton Sea Initiative, and the UCI OCEANS Initiative.

Sabrina Strings

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines how race, sex(uality), and class are inscribed on the body, such that the body itself can be marshaled to maintain social hierarchies. Her articles and essays are featured in venues including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Feminist Media Studies, Truthout independent news media, and The Feminist Wire. Her forthcoming book, Thin, White, and SavedFat Stigma and the Fear of the Big Black Body will be published by NYU press. A 200hr certified yoga teacher, Sabrina teaches donation-based yoga in community centers and community clinics. She is a co-founding editor for Race and Yoga journal, and has co-organized workshops and conferences on spiritual justice throughout California.

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard

Tiffany Willoughby-Herard is Associate Professor of African American Studies, a Faculty affiliate of Gender and Sexual Studies as well as Queer Studies at the University of California, Irvine. During her time at UCI, she has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research through her contribution in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and Division of Undergraduate Education. Willoughby-Herard works on comparative racialization in the South African and North American contexts, Black political thought, and African feminisms. Some of her research focus include topics on South Africa, poor whites, race in foreign policy, diaspora, comparative racial politics, feminism, and community and civic engagement.

S. Ama Wray

Dr. S. Ama Wray is the creator of Embodiology®, is a new sensi-cognitive movement practice that combines individual expression, body-mind dexterity and community building, together in an experience that is joyous, insightful and vitalizing. She received The Emerging Scholar Award from the International Comparative & International Education Society in 2018. She completed her PhD at the University of Surrey, developing the practical and theoretical landscape that is Embodiology®. She demonstrates how her movement inspires her mind in her TEDxTalk entitled, Bodily Steps to Innovation. Institutions seeking her expertise to demystify improvisation and creativity include: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Temple University, Florida International University, Middlesex University, University of Ghana, Legon and New Waves Institute, Trinidad and Tobago. Her Embodiology® practice and research into improvisation now extend to working with scientists, medical doctors and entrepreneurs who have learned of the capacity that improvisers have to collaborate, remain flexible and access the production of spontaneous novelty. Recent publications include: “A Hybrid Neo-African Improvisation-as-Performance Practice Distinguished by Dynamic Rhythm,” within The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance, edited by Vida Midgelow (2019), and an introductory iteration of Embodiology® concepts are introduced in, “Just after the Pulse, Rhythm Takes All: The Inside Habitat of Improvisation,” British Dance, Black Routes, edited by Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt (2017). She is currently Associate Professor of Dance, Affiliate Faculty of African American Studies and co-founder of AICRE (Africana Institute for Creativity, Recognition and Elevation) at the University of California, Irvine, and the Artistic Director of JazzXchange.

In the UK she was a leading member of premier dance companies: London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company; moreover, she is also widely known for her role as performer and custodian of Harmonica Breakdown (1938), choreographed by Jane Dudley. She also founded JazzXchange Music and Dance Company, collaborating with musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Gary Crosby, Zoe Rahman and Julian Joseph. In 2014 she reestablished the company in the USA. Her improvisation praxis has also reached into digital domains, her National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts Fellowship produced the award winning Texterritory, an interactive cell phone-based performance platform created in collaboration with Fleeta Siegel. Alongside choreography she has regularly directed African-centered physical theater plays by activist playwright/performer Mojisola Adebayo. Muhammad Ali and Me and Moj of the Antarctic toured both the UK and Southern Africa.

Project Affiliates

Udara Abeysekera

Udara serves as Program Coordinator for the UC Irvine Sustainability Resource Center (SRC), planning and delivering programs and resources that unleash youth leadership for community resilience to a changing climate and cultivate a campus culture of sustainability. 

Udara joins the SRC with a strong background in climate science communication and outreach, working with diverse groups of non-profit organizations, government agencies, businesses, youth, and educators.

Before joining the SRC, Udara served as Science Program Manager at the Climate Science Alliance (CSA). In this role, she supported the integration of regionally specific climate science and scientists into land management and community outreach activities. Udara supported the growth of the CSA from 100 to over 300 partners and coordinated several inaugural gatherings, including the San Diego Climate Summit, Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit, and the CSA Tribal Working Group. Her professional and personal dedication to sustainability and climate resilience was inspired by her time close to nature and reaffirmed by her work with the Federal and CA Fish and Wildlife agencies, where she saw first-hand impacts to wildlife and wildlands.

Udara received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Systems with a focus in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from UC San Diego. During her time at UC San Diego, she began working with Trunks & Leaves, an organization fostering evidence-based conservation of wild Asian elephants particularly in the context of human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. She continues this work today, focusing on outreach around the Coexistence Project, a community-based program helping elephants and people share a crowded landscape.

Susie is the Administrator for the UCI Office of Sustainability. In this role, she provides support to the UCI Community Resilience Projects in administration, human resources, event logistics, communications, and financial and budget matters.

Aryeh Shell

Aryeh Shell is the Lead Training Partner with UCI Community Resilience Projects for the 2018-19 SISL Trainers’ Training. She is a professional facilitator, instructional designer and coach with more than 15 years of experience in experiential education, team-building and transformative facilitation. Aryeh has designed and implemented dozens of dynamic training programs and several bodies of curriculum in creativity, leadership, collaboration, anti-oppression, collective liberation, systems thinking, food sovereignty and climate justice. She works as an independent consultant and serves as the Education and Training Director of the Creative Action Institute (CAI). With CAI, she has worked with over 300 organizations across 15 countries to design, lead and support hundreds of trainings that have impacted the lives of people globally around issues of gender equity, food sovereignty, civic engagement, climate change and trauma resiliency. She also worked as the Cultural Activism Director of Somos Mayfair, an immigrant rights organization in east San Jose, CA and co-directed an award winning theater troupe with immigrant women. She was a Fellow with Movement Generation and Amazon Watch and a community organizer with Art and Revolution, a collective of political street artists in San Francisco. She brings two decades of somatic practice, cultural activism and mindfulness training, incorporating a variety of holistic and creative methods into her work as a facilitator. She also speaks fluent Spanish and holds two Masters Degrees in Education and International Relations.

Sarah Vann

Sarah Vann

Sarah is a 4th year Psychology major undergraduate at UCI. She helps manage the Community Resilience Projects website, social media, and communications. 

Past Fellows, Staff, and Faculty Advisors

Shirleen Achieng

Based at the Center for Black Cultures, Resources & Research, Shirleen became a fellow in May 2017. Project activities included catalyzing a rich campus conversation, fostering alignment, and building campus momentum to address actively the root causes of environmental, social, and racial injustice. The Fellow supported co-lab participants in designing and carrying out a range of actions that build community resilience, including mobilizing student capacity to reclaim and create systems and cultures of collective action that lift up cultural relationships to the earth and land. This fellowship was a hands-on, experiential learning opportunity to develop and practice a range of skills essential to building community resilience in the context of furthering our campus’s climate and sustainability goals.

Shirleen is a second year public health science major at UCI. As a public health major, she felt the need to not only focus on the health of the general community, but values the importance of environmental health in relation to social justice. Her biggest inspiration to apply for the Community Resilience Fellowship were her early background experiences of environmental inequality and injustice growing up in Kenya. She believes natural resources are extremely vital for human survival. As a result, she wants to promote access to, control, and use of natural resources in various marginalized communities that have been limited, denied, or undermined. She especially looked forward to tackling the intersecting environmental, social justice, and racial crises that are occurring in contemporary society. Her future career goals involve working with overlooked communities in third world countries as a public physician while simultaneously advocating for various public health issues severely affecting Kenyans. Since this fellowship aligns with her career path, she hopes to utilize the skills and experiences she takes away from it into her future endeavors.

Temitope Aladetimi

Description: At UCI, we understand that transformations in physical infrastructure alone will not suffice to achieve the University of California’s climate and sustainability goals. How we build the human infrastructure to get us there is also key. “Community resilience” describes our efforts to create human infrastructure through which climate and sustainability solutions foster and reflect social cohesion and inclusion of diverse voices in our university community and beyond. Through Community Resilience Projects, we seek to understand, engage, and lift up the interests, contributions, and leadership of underrepresented communities on our campus and in communities in our region that are more vulnerable to the impacts of the changing climate–typically low-income communities, people of color, indigenous communities, immigrants, and elderly populations.

Student Project: The Climate Ambassador worked with the UCI Community Resilience Project to integrate and align UCI’s sustainability and climate activities with UCI’s wide ranging activities that forward understanding and progress on racial and social justice.  The fellow also worked more generally with UCI’s Office of Sustainability and Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability to communicate about campus and UC system-wide sustainability goals and programs, to assess existing programs, and to empower students to engage in and shape those efforts. In addition, the fellow was expected to help shape and participate in a UC system-wide dialogue and mobilization among fellows regarding climate action, a process facilitated and overseen by the student representatives to the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council, who convene regular meetings with fellows from all campuses.

Tope is a fourth year Criminology Law & Society major and International Studies minor at UC Irvine. She is an avid reader, self- proclaimed photographer and adventurer. Throughout her life she has had the opportunity to live in countries where certain resources are scarce to the majority of the people who inhabit the area. She is aware of the value of resources and how easily we take certain things for granted. She has had the opportunity to live in places like Nigeria, where the water system is not entirely clean and there is not electricity throughout the day. It is primarily because of this experience that she has a strong interest in sustainability, which for her simply means to empower people and value nature. Her vision for UC students is to realize the interconnectedness of nature and society as well as its relevance to human rights. She worked alongside professors, faculty, and students in learning and facilitating dialogue about how to be an effective advocate in addressing environmental wrongs and racial injustice.

Bo Daraphant

Based at the Cross-Cultural Center, Bo became a fellow in April 2017. Project activities include catalyzing a rich campus conversation, fostering alignment, and building campus momentum to address actively the root causes of environmental, social, and racial injustice. The Fellow supported co-lab participants in designing and carrying out a range of actions that build community resilience, including mobilizing student capacity to reclaim and create systems and cultures of collective action that lift up cultural relationships to the earth and land. This fellowship was a hands-on, experiential learning opportunity to develop and practice a range of skills essential to building community resilience in the context of furthering our campus’s climate and sustainability goals.

 Bo Daraphant is a third year student studying International Studies at UCI. In addition, he is an artist and an activist. He immigrated to the US at the age of 13 and has lived in his newfound home in LA since then. Outside of school, Bo has spent his college years advocating for immigrant rights, writing poetry, and creating artwork. Building on his experiences in advocacy from working with the White House Initiative on AAPI, National AAPI DACA Collaborative, and UPLIFT LA, Bo hopes to become a social entrepreneur creating sustainable programs that will help developing countries and underserved communities. Bo uses his art as his healing process by expressing his emotions, ideology, and story within his creations.

Navjyot (Navi) Gill

Navjyot will work with UCI Community Resilience Projects to integrate and align UCI’s sustainability and climate activities with UCI’s wide-ranging activities that forward understanding and progress on racial and social justice. This work will include coordination of and involvement in UCI’s Community Resilience Co-Lab. The selected fellow will work with supervisors from the Co-lab to plan AY 18-19 fellowship activities to continue to weave together students, faculty, and staff working at the intersection of these issues.

Navjyot Gill is a second-year PhD student in the Criminology, Law and Society department at UC Irvine and a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with Honors and received her B.A. in History and Ethnic Studies. Her research examines neighborhood change, social and economic inequalities in racially segregated neighborhoods, historical and racial violence. Navjyot is also interested in how environmental issues and neighborhood segregation intersect and how these issues are experienced by low-income communities and communities of color. Outside of academia, Navjyot enjoys working with middle and high school students and currently supports an organization called Leaders in Life in Kern County as an advisor.

Emanuel Preciado

The purpose of Manny’s summer fellowship was to support the CRECE cooperative in Santa Ana, CA and enhance collaboration between the UCI Community Resilience Projects and CRECE who share similar values and objectives rooted in social and environmental justice. The community partnership forged between UCI Community Resilience Projects and CRECE cooperative was based on reciprocity and the shared understanding that the problems of climate change, racism and all social injustice, economic inequality, and our challenged democracy are connected, and so are the solutions. Manny assisted as an urban farmer working hands-on at the CRECE microfarm, drafting narratives for the organization, joining meetings, and conducting research.

Manny is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Urban Planning and Policy focused on community-driven planning, urban sociology, social movements, and community-based research. As an urban planner, he is most interested in the spatial politics of low-income communities of color. Currently, Manny explores how urban gardens can revitalize communities and their food systems by providing healthy food at a low cost, assisting communities to reconnect with nature, recreate homeland, and create spaces of refuge and resistance. He looks at ways that urban gardens empower low-income communities of color by reclaiming communal space as a collective expression of a community’s political power asserted through the demand for public space to support the community and gain autonomy. Manny completed a 2018 summer fellowship through Community Resilience Projects with the CRECE Cooperative in Santa Ana.

Karen Valladares

Co-developed a Photovoice curriculum to effectively open up a dialogue about environmental concerns from the perspective of the youth in Santa Ana who are disproportionately affected by environmental justice issues

Karen Valladares is a fourth-year first-generation undergraduate student majoring in Public Health Policy. She was inspired to go into public health after understanding the numerous events she had witnessed growing up were inhumane and unjust. Witnessing her mother’s unpleasant experiences sparked her passion to be a voice for those who cannot speak up.  Public health encompasses her passion for prevention, health promotion and social justice. Through her education at UCI, she has been able to see the staggering social inequalities in health care, education, jobs and housing. She has also learned that low-income and minority populations share an unequal burden of environmental health problems; this resonated with her because communities and community members may not be aware of or in control of these issues. She was inspired to work with UCI’s Community Resilience Projects because of their shared goals in understanding the problems that our communities face and the collaborations that must happen in order to find solutions.  

Javier Garay

Javier Garay

Javier Garay was born and raised in Bell Gardens, California. Javier is currently a third year Environmental Science Major. He has worked with an environmental justice organization has assisted in identifying his passion for clean air, quality of life, and community. Outside of work and organizing, enjoys coffee, video games, joking around, and having fun experiences.

noemi linares-ramirez

Noemi Linares-Ramirez

Noemi Linares-Ramirez is a Latina-Navajo Ph.D. student studying Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She is an aspiring scholar activist interested in using her research to shed light on the continued oppression of Indigenous people. Her current research explores women’s role in Indigenous movements from Alcatraz to intra-tribal movements, as well as women’s role in sustainable development. At Smith College, Noemi founded Indigenous Smith Students and Allies (ISSA). This organization focused on inviting Indian scholars to campus, demanding more Indigenous studies classes, and recruiting at Indian boarding schools and reservations to increase Indigenous student representation on campus. She has not only involved Indigenous people in North America; she has also done research on the living conditions of Indigenous people in Brazil and in social welfare countries.  Through her fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago, Noemi became an activist in reproductive justice, creating resources that help women become self-advocates and producing material that list additional available resources to cope with different types of abuse. As the Indigenous Environmental fellow, she is committed to creating awareness and support for Indigenous environmental issues and to help with projects supporting the survival of sustainable Indigenous communities.

Adonia Lugo

Adonia Lugo

Dr. Adonia Lugo is an anthropologist who studies our mobility experiences and expectations and an activist working toward inclusive and equitable sustainability. She has worked on bike equity, diversity, and inclusion at the national level and currently teaches in Chicana/o Studies at Cal State LA. Dr. Lugo serves on the advisory board for Multicultural Communities for Mobility and is a co-editor of the forthcoming collection Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? (Routledge 2016). She manages the Bike Equity Network email list and the Bicicultures academic network.

Connie McGuire

Connie McGuire

Connie McGuire, PhD, is currently a Specialist with UCI’s Community Resilience Projects and Department of Family Medicine and Director of Community Relationships with the Newkirk Center for Science & Society, where she works on community engagement projects in a variety of settings from sustainability education evaluation to quality of care improvement programs for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers. She is a cultural anthropologist by training and is currently the PI of an engaged research project examining the emergence of healing practices in the context of movements for political and social change. She is trained in several mindfulness-based practices including Hakomi, a somatic psychotherapy method, and as a yoga instructor.

Rachel Pennington

Rachel Pennington

Rachel Pennington is a recent University of California, Irvine graduate serving as the Coordinator of the Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC). Rachel managed the Energize Colleges internship program, where she supports a community of interns interested in pursuing career pathways in sustainable energy. Rachel also worked with UCI staff, students, and faculty to forward environmental justice and sustainability practices and programs across campus and in the greater UCI community. During her undergraduate time on campus, she studied environmental science, while interning for UCI’s Center for Environmental Biology, where she gained experience in sustainability education and outreach. This continued through her work as an education specialist at Crystal Cove Alliance, a non-profit focusing on ecological and historical conservation in Southern California’s Crystal Cove State Park. Rachel’s personal sustainability interests include renewable energy, environmental justice, food security, and the human rights of sustainability. Rachel believes that every person has a niche to fill in the pursuit of a sustainable future, and intends to equip students with the resources needed to successfully pursue rewarding careers in clean energy, environmental equity, and sustainability.

Kim Serrano

Kim Serrano

Kimberly Serrano is the coordinator of Community Resilience Projects specializing in data analysis, geographic information systems, and community engagement. From 2014-2016 she served as the Project Manager and Newport Beach Site Coordinator for FloodRISE (Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments), an NSF-funded study of flood risk and community resilience.

Kimberly’s research background is broad, ranging from study of local concerns about backyard home policy in the City of Los Angeles to analysis of economic development potential around proposed high speed rail stations in California. She has held research positions with cityLAB at UCLA, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Sheridan/Hawkes Urban Design Collaborative, and PolicyLink.

As a socially-engaged scholar, Kimberly has worked with communities from East Hollywood to the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys on issues such as urban greening and clean water access. Prior to her career as a research professional, Kimberly worked as an arts administrator for several Los Angeles non-profit organizations. Kimberly is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of UCLA, with degrees in Art History (BA), Latin American Studies (MA), and Urban and Regional Planning (MURP).

Sameer Ashar

Sameer Ashar

Sameer M. Ashar is Clinical Professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine and co-director of the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic. He served as the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs at the CUNY School of Law and has also taught at the University of Maryland and NYU School of Law.

Professor Ashar focuses both his clinical practice and scholarship on how law can be used to support racially and economically subordinated communities. He has defended individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Fifth Circuits. He has represented immigrant workers in litigation against exploitative employers in state and federal court, as well as before the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Professor Ashar has worked on policy advocacy and community education projects with numerous immigrant organizations including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, UNITE HERE Local 11, Warehouse Workers Resource Center, Orange County Immigrant Youth United, RAIZ, Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, Domestic Workers United, Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Families for Freedom, and the Workplace Project.

Professor Ashar has published commentary and articles in Clearinghouse Review, Law and Society Review, Journal of Legal Education, Clinical Law Review, California Law Review and Connecticut Law Review. He serves on the board of the Clinical Law Review.

He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College.

Seth Davis

Seth Davis

Prof. Seth Davis is an expert on federal litigation and public administration. His scholarship focuses upon the hard choices that we don’t acknowledge or hope to avoid when we create rights of action and allocate lawmaking authority. Substantively, he focuses upon these hard choices as they arise in federal litigation, federal administrative law, and federal Indian law on the one side and property and tort on the other. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in leading law reviews, including the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, and the Notre Dame Law Review, as well as in leading specialty law journals, including the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Prof. Davis is also a co-author on the forthcoming 2017 supplement to Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law.

After graduating from Columbia Law School, Professor Davis clerked for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Following his clerkship, Prof. Davis served as a volunteer legal intern at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and then as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he specialized in appellate litigation and financial services regulatory law and also developed a pro bono practice working with Indian Nations and intertribal organizations.

Mojgan Sami

Dr. Mojgan Sami, PhD, has worked on socially and environmentally sustainable planning, public policy, and research in partnership with both community and intergovernmental organizations for over 20 years. These institutions include the Asia-Pacific Resource and Research Center on Women (ARROW), the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Government of Denmark.

Dr. Sami has a doctorate in Urban Planning, Policy & Design from UC Irvine with a specialization in healthy and sustainable planning process and public policy. She has been selected as one of the 25 “Empowering Sustainability” Fellows at UC Irvine in addition to conducting collaborative research with global institutions on informal settlements and global health. These institutions include the African Population and Health Research Council and the Institute for the Studies of Global Prosperity. Most recently, she has been working with the Indian NGO Living Farms on indigenous food systems.

Kristina Shull

Kristina Shull

Kristina Shull received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Irvine Department of History and currently serves as a lecturer. She has dedicated her scholarship to immigration detention, prison privatization, and anti-immigrant movements. Shull is the co-editor of an anthology of poetry and art by people held in immigration detention centers called Call Me Libertad: Poems Between Borders and has been a researcher for the Detention Watch Network and a graduate fellow at the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection.

Geoff Ward

Geoff Ward

Geoff Ward’s research examines socio-historical relationships between race, crime and justice, including evolving dynamics of racial violence, conflict, and inequality; racial politics of youth justice; and social movement, labor, and policy efforts to advance racial justice. He is the author of the The Black Child-Savers: Racial Democracy and Juvenile Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2012), an award-winning book on the rise, fall, and complex remnants of Jim Crow Juvenile Justice. His new project examines historical racial violence, its contemporary legacies, and transitional justice remedies today.