Each year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights welcomes a new class of legal fellows to support the organization's advocacy and litigation work and receive hands on training and experience as they prepare for a career in human rights litigation. We are proud to welcome the class of 2019 with three endowed fellowships and serve as the host organization for fellowships with secured funding.
Meet our 2019 Class of Fellows:
Masiyiwa-Bernstein Fellow | Deirdre Dlugoleski
Deirdre Dlugoleski graduated from NYU School of Law in May, having focused on environmental and indigenous rights, as well as religion. Having worked part time throughout college, her favorite job was staffing the reunion for the class of 1946 and listening to their stories. Some favorite books are Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, and for non-fiction Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild; Until We Are Free by Shirin Ebadi; Savages by Joe Kane; and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
Donald M. & Susan N. Wilson Fellow | Yannick Gill
Yannick Gill joins us as a graduate of Howard University School of Law. In search of a position that would cater to all of his interests: law, culture, and politics, the litigation and advocacy components of the Wilson fellowship made for a dream job. From South Florida, he has called New York City and Atlanta home. When not at work, Gill loves to travel- whether a neighboring city in Delaware or a new country, he loves to experience new food, music, and people in cultures unique to his own.
Dale & James J. Pinto Fellow | Makenna Osborn
Makenna Osborn is originally from Rochester, NY and has lived in DC for five years. She studied political science and history at Colgate University and received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center where she focused on civil and human rights law. During law school Osborn interned with Legal Assistance of Western New York, working on their reentry and community and economic development projects, and the Protection Unit at UNHCR's Global Learning Centre. She also participated in the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute's Fact-Find Practicum and International Women's Human Rights Clinic. Osborn is a podcast, crossword, and ice cream enthusiast and in her spare time she enjoys running and baking.
Partners for Human Rights Legal Fellow | Martina Rapido Ragozzino
Martina Rapido Ragozzino is an Italian human rights lawyer, born in Brazil and raised in Ecuador with a particular interest in women’s rights, freedom of speech and gender issues. After completing her LLM at the University of Notre Dame, she decided to apply for a legal fellowship with RFKHR after working closely with us during the organization of a workshop for inter-regional strategic litigation in Quito. Ragozzino is a former ballet dancer and in her free time likes to take long walks, visit museums and go to the movies. Her favorite book is “El olvido que seremos” by Héctor Abad Faciolince and she is a FRIENDS fan
Dale & James J. Pinto Fellow | Amanda Strayer
Amanda Strayer earned her JD from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2019 with a focus on human rights and international humanitarian law. She co-authored the Georgetown Human Rights Institute's 2018 fact-finding report on violence and discrimination against LGBT persons in Guyana. She also worked on strategic impact litigation challenging laws permitting child marriage in Botswana through the International Women's Human Rights Clinic. Prior to law school, Strayer worked with Women for Women International, where she researched violations of women's rights in conflict-affected areas and traveled to Afghanistan and Rwanda to conduct interviews with women impacted by conflict, displacement, and poverty. She is excited to return to RFK Human Rights after interning in the DC office during the summer of 2018.
Ngwika Crystal Fomba | Stimson Fellow
Crystal Fomba joins RFK Human Rights as the 2019-2020 Stimson Fellow. She is a fellow on the Advocacy and Litigation team focusing on strategic litigation in Africa. Prior to joining RFK she earned her J.D. at NYU School of Law where her focus was international law and human rights.
During law school, Crystal was a student advocate in the NYU Global Justice Clinic where she partnered with Haitian civil society to defend the human rights of Haitian communities impacted by gold mining. In her work with the clinic she investigated, researched and documented human rights violations related to the right to water and public participation. She worked with hydrologists to conduct a baseline study on the water quality and quantity in Haitian communities likely to be impacted by mining activity. She then worked to formulate the use of the study into an effective advocacy tool for affected communities.
Crystal later worked with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and regional NGO, FEANTSA in defense of the right to housing for Roma people in the Czech Republic. In her work with OHCHR and FEANTSA, she gained experience working on a collective complaint filed to the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR).