2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Henry McDonald

  • Hosted by Justice Resource Institute
  • Sponsored by Pfizer Inc.
  • Service location Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
  • Law school Northeastern University School of Law
  • Issue area Health Care, LGBTQ+ Rights, Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Henry’s (he/him) project will provide low-barrier, trauma-informed legal services to Boston-area young queer and transgender people of color by establishing a community-based HIV prevention medical-legal partnership.

This Fellowship bridges a long-existing service gap between two programs within Justice Resource Institute, Inc. (JRI) programs where, due to funding restrictions, many Boston Gay Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) clients have been unable to access the legal services offered by the Health Law Institute (HLI). Boston GLASS offers HIV prevention services to Boston-area Queer, Trans, Black, and Indigenous people of color (QTBIPOC) ages 13-29. In Massachusetts, sharp racial disparities persist in measures of HIV risk: Hispanic/Latino individuals face nearly four times the risk of HIV infection than white individuals and Black individuals face nearly eight times the risk of white individuals. By extending HLI’s legal services to the clients at Boston GLASS, Henry will work in tandem with GLASS professionals to address the health-harming legal needs that tend to place the GLASS client population at heightened risk of HIV infection.

Henry is a gay man who has lived in the Boston area for almost all his life. He is interested in health justice, particularly as it pertains to HIV/AIDS.

Fellowship Plans

By extending HLI’s medical-legal partnership model to Boston GLASS, Henry will be able to meet community members where they are. He will work alongside skilled providers who have cultivated trusting relationships with clients to effectuate holistic, wrap-around, trauma-informed legal services. Henry will leverage this dynamic to provide advice, brief services, and full representation in housing, public benefits, and discrimination matters. He will also provide education and training to Boston GLASS staff and community members so that they can issue-spot health-harming legal needs and seek out appropriate resources. Henry will also build out HLI’s existing data collection and analysis capacity to promote the sustainability of the HIV prevention legal services model.

I am excited that this project moves HIV legal services upstream, focusing on HIV prevention in a medical-legal partnership model. But I am even more excited that this project allows me to support queer and trans people in my community.

Henry McDonald /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Ashley Maddison

Host: Rutgers Law School

Sponsor: Covington & Burling LLP, Merck & Co., Inc.

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Megan Gordon

Host: Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance

Sponsor: The Art Lerner Memorial Fellowship

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Maryam Emory

Host: Children's Law Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Courtney Mendoza

Host: Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc

Sponsor: Anonymous, Katherine Borsecnik & Gene Weil

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