Celebrating the Finale of the Fifth Douglass Fellowship Class

by | Apr 21, 2022

On April 15, 2022, we celebrated the finale of the 2021-2022 Douglass Fellowship. Team members from HTI and leaders in the anti-trafficking field came together to celebrate the fellows’ numerous accomplishments during the 8-month fellowship. 

Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s commitment to freedom, education, and advocacy, the Douglass Fellowship provides an opportunity for law students to develop their skills and provide resources to those currently combating human trafficking around the world. The fellows are all third-year law students who graduate law school soon after the fellowship ends, taking exciting opportunities to be leaders in the anti-human trafficking movement as lawyers. This year’s fellows will go on to work in private litigation, join the United States Coast Guard JAG Corps, clerk in a family court, and work at a District Attorney’s office.

Douglass Fellowship Director, Lindsey Lane, congratulated the fellows on their success and highlighted how this cohort is uniquely qualified to become leaders fighting trafficking. “I am truly inspired by the depth and maturity with which each of you approaches the human trafficking movement,” said Lindsey.

Each fellow presented on the scholarship they produced alongside an HTI lawyer and events they led to help provide new resources to professionals in the anti-human trafficking movement.

  • Natalie Assaad researched and authored a paper on human trafficking multi-disciplinary teams and specialized anti-human trafficking units in the United States alongside CEO Victor Boutros. She also co-hosted the Trafficking Matters Podcast.
  • Christy Salzman co-wrote an article with Special Counsel Tyler Dunman on steps to improving human trafficking prosecutions in Uganda, one of our Partner Countries. She also co-hosted the Trafficking Matters Podcast.
  • Maura Reinbrecht co-authored an article about how advocacy efforts can both reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system as well as minimize collateral harm to survivors of sex trafficking with former Director of Legal Engagement Lindsey Roberson. 
  • Ashleigh Luschei wrote a paper on seeking restitution for trafficking survivors with former Associate Legal Counsel Alyssa Currier Wheeler-When. She also led a partnership between HTI and the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law to draft an amicus brief for an upcoming Supreme Court case on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Alongside this impressive research, the fellows all assisted in gathering data from every federal prosecution of human trafficking in 2021 for the upcoming 2021 Federal Human Trafficking Report.

Each year, the fellows are paired with a mentor who works in a sector of the anti-human trafficking movement related to the fellow’s interests. We are so grateful for the time and expertise provided by this year’s mentors:

  • Bridgett Carr, Michigan Law School HT Clinic
  • Enrique Carrillo, ICC
  • Andrea Rojas, Polaris 
  • Betsy Hutson, HTPU

The event ended on a thoughtful note as the attendees provided well-wishes to the fellows. CEO Victor Boutros told the fellows, “My great hope for you is that this will not just be a chapter in your story, but it will be a theme. That the experience in anti-trafficking work that you’ve had this year will really set the stage for you to be an incredibly diverse network of leaders that will be informed by the experience they had here and go on to do great things.”

Senior Legal Counsel Lindsey Lane provided words of support as the fellows head into the next stages of their careers, “I encourage you all to continue to be trailblazers in the anti-trafficking field as your careers continue” 
Learn more about the Douglass Fellowship and the 2021-2022 cohort here.

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