Photo of Jacob Carrel

Jacob Carrel

  • Hosted by National Redistricting Foundation
  • Sponsored by Anonymous, The Selbin Family
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jacob (he/him/his) will advocate for fair political maps to be drawn in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the 2020 redistricting cycle. He will work to ensure equal access to voting, education, health, and racial justice. 

In growing Midwestern urban centers, local problems stem directly from the lack of state-level representation due to gerrymandering. For example: Detroit filed America’s largest municipal bankruptcy; Flint failed to provide its residents with clean water; Madison changed school superintendents six times in eight years amid multiple racial controversies; and Kenosha’s mismanaged police force shot Jacob Blake. 

After the Kenosha shooting, residents’ advocacy for independent prosecution was futile against a legislature that had diluted their community’s power. Gerrymandering limits access to funding and legislative change, leaving communities with fewer resources for schools and police department oversight. It creates and compounds racial disparities. 

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Jacob will support challenges against gerrymandered districts as Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin redraw their state legislative and congressional maps. He will conduct research, find plaintiffs, conduct investigations, and support critical filing of lawsuits. While many structural changes require political rather than legal action, redistricting provides a unique opportunity to allow communities to advocate for themselves both in litigation and in the legislature once fair maps are drawn. 

Media

Eight from Harvard Law named Equal Justice Works Fellows

Growing up in Wisconsin, I saw firsthand the effects of representation. I was a high school student in the Madison public schools when a gerrymandered legislature demanded drastic, unprecedented school cuts for large districts including mine. My calling is advocacy for schools, and my tool is redistricting.

Jacob Carrel /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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