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Molly Cohen

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Molly Cohen

Molly Cohen

Name of Host Organization: Urban Justice Center: Sex Workers Project
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: Uber Technologies, Inc., Arent Fox LLP

The Project

Implement a community-based outreach project to educate, empower and provide direct legal representation to immigrant transgender trafficking survivors throughout New York City.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Transgender immigrant trafficking survivors in New York endure discrimination from virtually aspect of society, and are especially unlikely to seek out and receive vitally needed legal aid due to the dual institutional barriers of immigration status and sex work criminalization. By reaching out via trusted community forums, this project seeks to overcome such marginalization to provide holistic legal services and pursue justice for transgender immigrant survivors.
The Right Person For This Project

Molly is the right person for the project because:
• She has experience utilizing trauma-informed lawyering techniques through previous humanitarian immigration work with the University of Wisconsin Immigrant Justice Clinic and the Sex Workers Project.
• She has worked directly on issues related to human trafficking, gender-based violence and refugee rights through internships with the U.S. Department of State and the International Institute of Wisconsin.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Molly will: • Partner with LGBT community organizations in New York to conduct know your rights presentations, legal interview screenings, and distribute legal information to identify, educate and empower transgender trafficking survivors
• Conduct trainings with public defenders in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx to more effectively screen for and assist LGBT trafficking survivors
• Begin directly representing clients in affirmative and defensive humanitarian immigration cases
• Actively build a pro bono legal referral and volunteer network to zealously pursue diverse aspects of clients’ cases