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FirstGEN Welcomes New Partner, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

For Immediate Release January 22, 2015

Firstgen FellowsWASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2015 – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) welcome Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) as a new partner, to expand the First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship (FirstGEN) program.

FirstGEN is a 10-week summer program for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend an institution of higher education and who are passionate about pursuing careers in social justice.  Fellows gain hands-on experience working on civil rights matters as full time Public Policy and Advocacy interns while also participating in a parallel training program.  FirstGEN creates a greater community of advocates by linking emerging leaders with existing ones and by creating a FirstGEN alumni network.

As partners, Advancing Justice | AAJC, CLINIC, the Lawyers’ Committee, and NILC will host up to six undergraduate fellows this summer.  Each Fellow will receive a $1,500 stipend.  On Fridays, for ten weeks, all six FirstGEN Fellows will meet to take part in FirstGEN’s advocacy training program with sessions led by social justice leaders.  FirstGEN is actively recruiting 2015 summer fellows, to apply go to www.firstgenfellows.org.

Mee Moua, President and Executive Director of Advancing Justice | AAJC, said, “Advancing Justice | AAJC has benefited from the skills, talents, energy, and enthusiasm of students, and we are proud to engage them in our policy advocacy.  We are very excited about partnering with the Lawyers’ Committee and other civil rights organizations to bring first generation college students into our work and support them at the start of their careers in social justice.”

Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., said “We are pleased to welcome Advancing Justice | AAJC to FirstGen. Advancing Justice | AAJC’s mission to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all is a natural fit for this exciting program for young leaders working for social justice.”

Barbara R. Arnwine, Lawyers’ Committee’s President and Executive Director, noted “By working together we are able to create new opportunities for aspiring social justice advocates.  We have worked with Advancing Justice | AAJC on many issues over the years and we look forward to beginning a new chapter, as we team-up on the FirstGEN program.”

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center stated, “Advancing Justice | AAJC  has been an important partner on many key issues for the immigrant community — from civil rights battles to advocating for access to affordable health care, and economic justice. Their partnership in this program to develop new civil rights leaders is vital and we, at NILC, are thrilled to have Advancing Justice | AAJC on board.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the National Immigration Law Center look forward to this new partnership and are excited to expand FirstGEN in 2015 and beyond.

You may learn more about FirstGEN by liking us at facebook.com/FirstGENFellows and following @FirstGENFellows on Twitter and Instagram.



About the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC:
Founded in 1991, Advancing Justice | AAJC works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans, and build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Advancing Justice | AAJC is one of the nation's leading experts on issues of importance to the Asian American community including: affirmative action, anti-Asian violence prevention/race relations, census, immigrant rights, immigration, language access, television diversity and voting rights. Advancing Justice | AAJC advances its goals through the core strategies of public policy advocacy, litigation, community education and outreach, and public communications. For more information about Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC visit www.advancingjustice-aajc.org, follow us on Twitter @AAAJ_AAJC and like us on facebook.com/advancingjusticeaajc.

About the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.:
Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. For more information about the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., visit www.cliniclegal.org, and like us on facebook.com/cliniclegal.

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. We celebrated our 50thanniversary in 2013 and continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education and environmental justice.  For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LawyersComm and like us on facebook.com/lawyerscommittee.

About the National Immigration Law Center:
Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center envisions a society in which all people — regardless of race, gender, income level, or immigration status — have the opportunity to live freely, work safely, and thrive in society. The organization’s advocates and attorneys use a variety of tools, including policy analysis, litigation, education and advocacy, to achieve this vision. For more information about the National Immigration Law Center, visit www.nilc.org, and follow on Twitter @NILC_org, and like us on facebook.com/NationalImmigrationLawCenter.

Advancing Justice | AAJC Media Inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with Advancing Justice | AAJC, please contact Sandhya Bathija, 202-296-2300, ext. 144 or email [email protected]

CLINIC Media Inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with CLINIC, please contact Maura Moser, 301-565-4800 or [email protected].

Lawyers’ Committee Media inquiries Contact:  To coordinate interview opportunities with the Lawyers’ Committee, please contact Stacie Royster, 202-662-8317 or [email protected].

NILC Media Inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with NILC, please contact Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832 or 213-400-7822 or [email protected].

Non-media inquiries: If you have questions regarding the FirstGEN Fellowship program or are interested in serving as a partnering organization,  guest speaker, or would like to financially support this program please contact Alejandro T. Reyes at 202-662-8321 or [email protected].

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