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Jacqueline Tran Crème

The Project

Jacqueline’s project at Sanctuary for Families focuses on outreach with community organizations and providing legal representation in family law matters to survivors of domestic and gender-based violence who are part of BIPOC communities.

Fellowship Plans 

With over 8 million people living across all five boroughs of New York City, there is an evident concern that not all crime victims are being reached and, therefore, not being serviced. The disparity is magnified in BIPOC communities and amongst crime victims where English is not their primary language, where issues beyond population density exist as additional barriers to victims seeking the help they need. Jacqueline’s project aims to dismantle these barriers by focusing her efforts on providing legal representation for these specific populations. Throughout her Fellowship, Jacqueline will partner with a variety of community organizations to provide outreach events to educate others on victims’ rights as well as the wide berth of free services Sanctuary provides to survivors of domestic and gender-based violence in hopes of reaching populations the agency has not yet been able to connect with. Another core objective of Jacqueline’s Fellowship involves providing information on family law matters to victims via Sanctuary’s Helpline, a phone line that connects crime victims to a Sanctuary attorney for a more accessible legal consultation.

Advocating for victims of domestic or gender-based violence is deeply important to me. This Equal Justice Works Fellowship with Sanctuary for Families has afforded me the opportunity to offer my helping hand to victims during their journey to reclaiming their voice, body and power.

Jacqueline Tran Creme /
2024 Fellow in the Crime Victims Advocacy Program

The Project

Mary’s Fellowship undertakes mission-directed work to address the civil legal needs of Native American crime victims in underserved communities experiencing collateral legal issues.

Fellowship Plans 

Mary will work to bring awareness to critical issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and other injustices that plague Native Americans. She plans to do this through the thorough representation of Native American crime victims in and out of the tribal court system by assisting crime victims with cases concerning their immediate safety, ongoing protection, and family law needs. While protecting victims’ rights in criminal proceedings, Mary also will assist victims of trafficking, elder abuse, and financial fraud. Mary plans to maintain and develop the important relationships needed with tribal domestic violence/crime victims’ advocates, Native American-focused social service agencies, law enforcement staff, and others to facilitate access to legal assistance for Native clients and to provide the necessary advocacy for the Native American community. Mary believes that this purpose, coupled with her background and the assistance of community education, can do a tremendous good for her community.

Inspiration

As a Native American woman from a low-income background, I’m honored and proud that my work will address the injustices that affect my community, and I can give back to the very people who shaped my path and my future in this world. I don’t claim to know everything that plagues the people of this community, but I am honored to be able to carve the path toward a solution. I am grateful that my Fellowship has brought me exactly where I need to be.

The Project

Eugenia’s project at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles will focus on providing trauma-informed, victim-centered, and language access-focused legal assistance to crime survivors in underserved Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities.

Fellowship Plans

Eugenia will provide direct legal services in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner to survivors of crime through counsel and advice and other assistance such as protective orders, child custody, and divorce for survivors of domestic violence. Eugenia will also engage in monthly legal clinics, outreach, and partnership-building activities such as workshops and seminars to further educate community members about survivors’ legal rights. Eugenia will also work directly with survivors to help navigate the criminal justice system, such as by helping to file reports with law enforcement or applying for victim’s compensation.

As the daughter of first-generation immigrants, Eugenia recognized the strong need for expanded language access and increased community resources and education at an early age. The community that Eugenia grew up in and continues to identify as a part of has motivated her to remain committed to pursuing the most beneficial legal remedies for the underserved.

My Fellowship has given me the opportunity to continue channeling my longstanding passion for public interest and community justice while utilizing my language skills and trauma-informed training to benefit those in my community who are most in need.

Eugenia Kim /
2023 Fellow in the Crime Victims Advocacy Program

The Project

Odalys Fajardo’s (she/her) project with the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center will focus on better serving minorities in underserved communities by expanding direct outreach to communities of color while providing free legal services to crime victims when their statutory or constitutional rights have been, or are being, violated in the criminal justice process.

Fellowship Plans

Odalys Fajardo will work to better serve minorities in underserved communities by expanding direct outreach to communities of color. Her goal is to aid in the relationship between victims and the criminal justice system by building trust, connections, and meaningful relationships through consistent presence and partnerships in these communities. Further, through free legal services, Odalys plans to assist crime victims by informing them of their rights and helping them assert their rights.

This Equal Justice Works Fellowship has afforded Odalys the opportunity to serve marginalized communities that are victimized at higher rates and often do not find justice and healing within the criminal justice system.

As a woman of color from a low-income background, I'm honored and proud that I will be able to assist in bridging the gap that exists between victims of minoritized groups and the criminal justice system.

Odalys Fajardo /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow

The Project

Sarah (she/her) provides critical legal aid to victims of workplace crimes, combating issues such as wage theft, unsafe work conditions, exploitation, discrimination, and retaliation. She aims to address the prevalent challenges faced by vulnerable workers, and seeks to rectify systemic injustices within employment practices.

Fellowship Plans

Sarah will use a multifaceted approach to reach her goals for this Fellowship. She will conduct thorough legal assessments of potential victims and identify cases of workplace crimes such as wage theft, discrimination, and unsafe working conditions. Sarah will also increase outreach efforts by engaging with community organizations and holding free legal clinics to identify and assist affected individuals. Additionally, Sarah will provide educational opportunities to community groups, partner organization, and law enforcement to ensure that other stakeholders know how to identify red flags for severe workplace crimes, such as human trafficking. Finally, Sarah will provide direct advocacy for victims of workplace crimes that may range from negotiations to litigation.

Recognizing that our daily lives largely revolve around our workplaces, Sarah is driven by the conviction that these spaces should be safe and fair for everyone. This commitment fuels her advocacy for workers’ rights, striving to create environments where dignity and safety are fundamental, free from exploitation and discrimination.

The Project

Catherine (Cate, she/her) provides legal representation and advocacy for victims of crime and gun violence. She seeks to address the communal gap and knowledge disparity that perpetuates gun violence in the community.

Fellowship Plans

Cate, via the Legal Aid Society of Louisville, will be an active pillar in West Louisville to bridge the gap between families and victims of gun violence and the greater Louisville community. She plans to do this by engaging in monthly community outreach programs, events, and trainings, both in the legal community and local community at large to learn on how to best advocate for her clients and then teach others how to also advocate on their behalf. She will represent victims and families impacted by gun violence in relevant court proceedings in order to make sure the victim’s rights are exercised appropriately. In addition to court representation, Cate will connect clients with new or already existing community organizations to help the victims and their families more smoothly integrate back into society.

Cate is passionate about advocating for victims and families of gun violence because gun violence is becoming much more prevalent and threatening to the city. Growing up in Louisville, Cate knew she wanted to have a public service oriented career to help her community. Since working at Legal Aid, Cate sees how affordable legal representation can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

I want to act as a bridge between our community's legal resources and the victims so they can recover financially and physically to the fullest of their extent, as well as have a better understanding of their legal rights as victims.

Catherine Caperton /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow

The Project

Valencia (she/her) will work with Tzedek DC to provide trauma-informed legal services to victims of financial crimes in underserved BIPOC communities in D.C. Victims of financial crimes face major barriers to securing employment, obtaining government benefits, getting business loans, and achieving peace of mind. These problems are even more pronounced for those who come from low-income communities.

Fellowship Plans

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, Valencia will address these issues through direct legal services, community outreach and advocacy, educating on the latest frauds and scams, and providing trauma-informed civil legal services to help resolve financial issues. She plans to present information at community outreach events to increase resident awareness about potential frauds and scams and equip them with the tools necessary to avoid falling victim. Additionally, she intends to use her role as an advocate to help residents discover any potential frauds or identity theft attacks affecting them and assist in recovering funds and securing their identity.

My Equal Justice Works Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to be a direct resource to low-income District of Columbia residents in a way that is tangible and substantial. I am proud to be a part of an organization that makes it their mission to dedicate themselves to assisting those who need it most.

Valencia Are /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow

The Project

Sheila’s (she/her) project will focus on serving unaccompanied minors in Special Immigration Juvenile cases (SIJS). With the support of the Public Law Center, Shelia will serve underrepresented, indigent immigrant clients subjected to abuse, neglect, and abandonment by their primary caretakers.

Fellowship Plans

Sheila will significantly increase the number of minor children helped who are eligible for SIJS. By focusing on unaccompanied minors, she will be improving the lives and futures of individuals who cannot return to their homelands due to history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In doing so, she will help create a new narrative and potential for the minor children to heal from past trauma and create new life goals from a place of safety and wellbeing.

Sheila understands what it’s like to be a young person with no recourse during some of the most difficult times in life. Her experiences growing up led her to her career path, searching for empowerment. She hopes to empower clients early in their lives giving them the tools to make decisions that will lead them to success years before she could.

Children should be taught and nurtured. In my work with Equal Justice Works, I hope to change the trajectory of the youth that I work with by facilitating their experience with the legal process.

Sheila S. Robles /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow

The Project

Shannon’s (she/her) project with Legal Aid of Nebraska will focus on increasing access to legal aid for survivors of crime, especially in underserved black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

Fellowship Plans

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Crime Victims Advocacy Program, Shannon will help enforce her clients’ rights in criminal proceedings, engage in outreach and education activities, and build community partnerships for holistic services.

Shannon’s Equal Justice Works Fellowship provided her the opportunity to continue her passion of serving others and working towards a more equitable environment in the justice system, specifically the justice system in her community. Her experiences volunteering for organizations such as Domestic Violence shelters in Wisconsin and the Tenant Assistant Program in Nebraska gave Shannon the interest and passion for this work. This first-hand experience helped her understand the importance of helping those who were historically overlooked.

The Project

Renee’s (she/her) project will assist Black women in Milwaukee who are crime victims as they exercise their rights.

Fellowship Plans

Renee will provide direct representation to crime victims in court, asserting their rights as they wish. She will also act as a liaison with the District Attorney’s office and court on matters of confidentiality, privacy, and safety. She will work within the community to increase awareness of the services offered by Legal Action of Wisconsin and build partnerships to better serve this population.

Getting my J.D. was a career change for me—I have over a decade of work experience within Milwaukee's nonprofit community and wanted to expand my skillset to better aid those in need. The Equal Justice Works Fellowship is a great way for me to build connections and expand on my past work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Renee Pasciak /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow