2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply

Headshot of Breanna Bollig

Breanna Bollig

  • Hosted by California Tribal Families Coalition
  • Sponsored by Danaher Corporation
  • Service location Sacramento, California
  • Law school Michigan State University College of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Breanna (she/her/hers) will empower tribes and tribal families to provide trauma-informed education advocacy for tribal children in California’s child welfare system.

Historically, the United States has used “education” to assimilate Native children, take tribal land, and disrupt tribal economies, and these events still affect tribes and Native children today. Native people have the highest rates of trauma and child welfare involvement, and the lowest rates of academic achievement compared to any other racial group. Without trauma-informed education advocacy, Native children in the child welfare system are especially at-risk for not being able to access an education.

Breanna is continually inspired by the child welfare advocacy provided by tribes and California Tribal Families Coalition. It is a privilege to help expand this trauma informed advocacy into education systems, which have continued to fail tribal children.

Fellowship Plans

Through her project, Breanna will identify tribal children within California’s child welfare system who are being unlawfully denied an adequate and trauma-informed education. She will then work with each child’s tribe to ensure that education advocacy support is provided. Breanna will also raise awareness of new caselaw establishing that trauma is a disability for special education purposes and provide comprehensive special education trainings and resources for tribes and tribal families. If necessary, Breanna will collaborate with pro bono attorneys and other non-profit organizations to pursue impact litigation on behalf of tribes, tribal parents, or education rights holders for tribal children.

Through my work within child welfare, education, and tribal systems, I became aware of the disconnect between these disciplines. My Equal Justice Works Fellowship puts me in the unique position to combine these systems to ensure comprehensive child advocacy.

Breanna Bollig /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Breanna

View All

Photo of Travis Fife

Travis Fife

Host: Texas Civil Rights Project

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

Current Fellow

Headshot of Makiah Lyons

Makiah Lyons

Host: Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)

Sponsor: Anonymous

Current Fellow

Headshot of Alexis Rickmers

Alexis Rickmers

Host: Lawyers for Civil Rights

Sponsor: Biogen, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Current Fellow

Headshot of Brenda Rosas

Brenda Rosas

Host: American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Current Fellow