2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Jack Pellicano

Jack Pellicano

  • Hosted by Brooklyn Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Morgan Stanley, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
  • Service location Brooklyn, New York
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area Economic Justice, LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Building on the expertise of Brooklyn Legal Services LGBTQ+ & HIV Advocacy Project, Jack (they/he) will provide tailored civil legal services to support the economic stability and mobility of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Non-Binary (TGNCNB) young people living in New York City.

State legislators across the country are expressing intense hostility toward TGNCNB young people, dramatically increasing administrative violence against them. Although New York City has long been a beacon for LGBTQ+ people, there remains a wide gap between the content of New York City and State anti-discrimination laws and the lived experience of TGNCNB young people. The TGNCNB community continues to face rampant discrimination in public accommodations, the workplace, school, and housing—which contributes to cycles of poverty, criminalization, and homelessness faced by many. This project is designed to address these barriers, with the goal of maximizing the opportunities for TGNCNB young people to live a life filled with joy—beyond mere survival.

Fellowship Plans

During their Fellowship, Jack will provide TGNCNB young people with direct civil legal services, including legal name and identity document changes, support in benefits access, and counseling on gender-based discrimination. Harnessing Brooklyn Legal Services LGBTQ & HIV Advocacy Project’s already successful pro-bono name change clinic will enable Jack to expand the projects reach. Jack will concentrate outreach through community partners that offer social services to TGNCNB young people by providing the community with sustained Know Your Rights trainings and educational materials on gender-based discrimination, name changes, and benefits eligibility.

Jack is driven and inspired by the generations of trans people who have created dream-worthy lives for themselves in New York City.

TGNCNB young people deserve the legal support necessary to build stable lives in New Yorc City. This Fellowship will allow me to use all the tools at my disposal to support young members of the TGNCNB community in their journeys.

Jack Pellicano /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sponsor: Anonymous

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Sponsor: The Paul Rapoport Foundation

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Lauren DesRosiers

Host: New York City Anti-Violence Project

Sponsor: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Proskauer Rose LLP

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Elizabeth Pinolini

Host: Whitman-Walker Health

Sponsor: Anonymous