The Judith Stronach Women's Rights Fellowship
The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies is the beneficiary of an extraordinarily generous bequest by Judith Lee Stronach, a Berkeley resident and long-time peace activist and philanthropist. Judith's life was dedicated to nonviolence and social justice, and she tirelessly gave her time, as well as her financial resources, to a range of causes. Judith was a poet, teacher, and arts patron as well as a social activist. She worked with homeless people living on Berkeley streets, taught poetry to Berkeley middle school students, and belonged to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and Berkeley Friends Meeting.
Judith began her participation in international human rights efforts in 1985 as an interpreter for the Guatemalan Office of Human Rights, then in exile in Mexico City. Her dedication to victims of human rights violations led her to work at a respite camp for Bosnian children traumatized by war, and she was a generous supporter of human rights NGOs. Judith expressed interest in CGRS's work shortly after it was founded in 1999. The Center's efforts on behalf of women asylum seekers resonated with her long-standing commitment to women's rights and human rights, and she especially valued the use of the law in service of social justice.
In her memory, CGRS has established the Judith Stronach Women's Rights Fellowship. Beginning in 2005, the fellowship recognizes those CGRS summer law students whose background, idealism, and commitment to women's rights exemplify Judith's dedication to protecting the human rights of women, especially women refugees.
In 2009 we recognized three outstanding law students as Stronach Fellows:
Pictured from left to right: Kimberly Crawford, Evelyn Levine and Sonya Sultan-Khan Jibodh
Kimberly Jinsook Crawford is a third-year law student at University of San Diego School of Law, where her studies have focused on criminal litigation. Prior to law school, Kimberly worked with the Orange County Superior Court and the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. She discovered a love for immigration law during her three years at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP. While in law school, Kimberly interned with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, in Los Angeles, California. During her fellowship
at CGRS, Kimberly conducted research on a number of issues, including the one-year bar and asylum relief in honor-killing claims. She has also interned with the San Diego Office of the Primary Public Defender in the Felony Crimes Division and the American Bar Association
Immigration Justice Project. Kimberly continues to be an active leader in the San Diego legal community, both on and off campus. She hopes to dedicate her legal career to advocacy in the areas of homelessness, immigration, and public defense.
Evie Levine is a third year law student at U.C. Hastings College of the Law. After having lived in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where her work involved reducing femicides of northern Mexico, she became interested in being an advocate and policy-maker related to issues of women’s human rights and asylum. While in law school, she has represented several clients seeking asylum and adjusting their status based on domestic violence, sexual orientation, their HIV status, and various other grounds. At CGRS, she helped update the record for Matter of R-A- including submitting country conditions research and drafting legal arguments for the final memo in the case. After law school, she plans to directly represent clients for several years and then move into the policy-making arena. When she is not working, Evie enjoys hiking, biking, and cooking.
Sonya Sultan-Khan Jibodh
Sonya Sultan-Khan is an August 2009 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and a former visiting student at UC Hastings College of the Law. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Sonya completed a law degree at the University of the West Indies and practiced law in Trinidad prior to relocating to the United States. During her co-op at CGRS, Sonya analyzed the record in Matter of L-R- and prepared a detailed record summary of the case. Her work was used by the CGRS legal team and pro bono counsel to develop additional evidence and craft legal arguments for the brief in the L-R- case. While at Northeastern, Sonya worked with immigrants and asylum seekers at the International Institute of Boston, served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judith Dein, U.S. District Court (D. Mass.), and was a summer associate at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. After graduation, Sonya remained at CGRS as a graduate research fellow.