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Headshot of Ishvaku Vashishtha

Ishvaku Vashishtha

  • Hosted by Inner City Law Center
  • Sponsored by Kutak Rock, U.S. Bank
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Economic Justice, Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Ishvaku will work to advance economic justice in Los Angeles by advocating for unhoused individuals who lack identification through an in-person clinic, direct representation, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.

Lack of identification formalizes the socio-economic marginalization of individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness. Identification is a necessary prerequisite for accessing vital services such as social security programs and healthcare benefits, which intend to offer a way out of poverty. However, those born homeless likely never had the chance to get these crucial documents, and those who manage to get identitification may lose them due to housing insecurity. Without identification, people are trapped in a vicious cycle of homelessness.

Fellowship Plans

Ishvaku will establish a biweekly Vital Document Clinic in Skid Row, providing unhoused individuals with assistance in obtaining documents they need to establish identification. When necessary, he will represent clients directly in front of government entities. Ishvaku will also advocate for policies at the local, state, and federal levels that make it easier to obtain identification and affirm the dignity of individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness. Additionally, he will work to craft and execute impact litigation that secures broader system relief. Throughout his Fellowship, Ishvaku will focus on building and strengthening coalitions to empower impacted communities and ensure long-term, sustainable change.

Having grown up in Los Angeles County as the child of immigrants, Ishvaku’s commitment to economic justice stems from his family’s experience with economic insecurity. Through this project, Ishvaku will be able to return to Los Angeles to deepen his passion for advancing economic justice.

Media

Kutak Rock Partners with U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance to Sponsor 2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Poverty is not just an economic catastrophe, but a moral catastrophe that exists as much in a lack of money as it does a lack of hope.

Ishvaku Vashishtha /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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