LSRJ is thrilled to introduce our eight 2013 – 2014 resident bloggers. Each will bring their voice and perspective to our blog on a variety of reproductive justice issues each month. Interested in becoming a resident blogger? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Déodonné Bhattarai is the Second Year Reproductive Justice Fellow at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health policy organization dedicated to strengthening policies, programs, and research to improve the health and well-being of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.As a member of APIAHF’s policy team, Déodonné works on health equity issues at the Federal level. She analyses issues of health care access and quality, HIV/AIDS, immigration, and ACA Implementation through a reproductive justice lens.
SJ Chapman is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and Northwestern Law School. She lives in Chicago, IL, and is starting work as an associate at Bielski Law Office, Ltd. in the fall of 2013. She studies and writes in the field of critical familism and international adoption. You can read more at her home blog adoptanewwayofthinking.com, or contact her directly at email@example.com.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ruth Dawson is the Reproductive Justice Fellow at the ACLU of Southern California, where she uses legal, policy, and community advocacy to address a wide swath of reproductive justice issues. Ruth studied International Development Studies and Spanish at UCLA, where she spent much of her time teaching sex ed and otherwise organizing around social justice issues. Before graduate school, Ruth managed a small reproductive health clinic in Northern California. She graduated in 2012 from Emory University with a JD/MPH joint degree, where she co-founded the Emory Law chapter of LSRJ. Ruth is a member of the California Bar.
Candace Gibson is a Second Year Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). Candace received her J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in May 2012. As a law student, Candace received the Frankel Public Interest Fellowship to assist Jane’s Due Process with their judicial bypass and community outreach work in Texas and received the Spurgeon Public Interest Fellowship to finance her summer internship at NLIRH. During her summer at NLIRH, she researched, wrote, and blogged on immigrant women in detention centers and in deportation proceedings. Candace founded and served as the Utah Law Students for Reproductive Justice Chapter President and served as President of the Women’s Law Caucus. Prior to law school, she worked as a program coordinator at Comunidades Unidas, a nonprofit organization in Utah committed to eliminating health disparities in ethnic and refugee communities, managing the work of the Multicultural Health Network and the Democracy Schools Program.
Mangala Kanayson is a 2L at Emory School of Law, where she is a Co-Chair of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice chapter. She interned with the LSRJ national office in Oakland over the summer and hopes to work in the field of reproductive justice after law school.
Christine Poquiz is a second year Law Students for Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) in Washington DC. A proud Filipina-American and the daughter of immigrant parents, Christine is deeply committed to reproductive rights and justice, and works to ensure that the needs and voices of immigrant women and women of color are lifted. Originally from California, Christine holds a law degree from UC Davis School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine.
Amanda Shapiro graduated from Harvard College in 2008 with a degree in sociology, where she focused on issues of economic justice and women’s rights. Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America, and taught for four years at a public school in the South Bronx. That experience working with a high-needs population and a predominantly female workforce led her back to women’s rights advocacy and additionally, law school. Amanda is a current law student at Brooklyn Law School, Vice President of the LSRJ chapter, and a Sparer Public Interest Fellow. She hopes to start up a pro-bono project with other LSRJ members to vacate prostitution convictions for child victims of sex trafficking.
Melissa Torres Montoya just completed an LSRJ fellowship at the National Women’s Health Network. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis and earned a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2011. Before going to law school, she worked as a sex educator with Planned Parenthood in California, and while in law school, she served on the boards of LSRJ and La Raza Student Association. Melissa also worked with the public benefits team at the East Bay Community Law Center and served as the outreach coordinator for Boalt Hall Women’s Association where she coordinated a women’s health fair for law students and faculty. Melissa followed law school by pursuing a Masters in Public Health at John Hopkins and graduated with her degree in May 2012.