2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Loreal Hawk

Loreal Hawk

  • Hosted by NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Sponsored by General Electric Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Loreal (they/them) will address the intersectional violence within Black, LGBTQ+ youth communities facing censorship, surveillance, and subsequent criminalization in and outside schools.

Racism and homophobia combine to create unique intersectional violence against Black, Queer youth that is often ignored or decentered. In states in the South with little to no safety nets for these communities, legislation is being passed to censor, surveil, and criminalize Black and Queer youth.

State legislatures are taking action to ban and control curricula across lower and higher education that erases Black and Queer experiences. Almost 10% of American youth openly identify as LGBTQ+ but more than 16 states have passed or introduced laws that surveil and criminalize them. Black Queer youth are already disproportionately disciplined and criminalized. Without interdisciplinary advocacy, Black, Queer youth are facing a rapid increase in violence and hatred with little support to meet their intersectional needs.

Fellowship Plans

During this Fellowship, Loreal will use interdisciplinary approaches through the Legal Defense Fund’s Strategic Initiatives Department. Utilizing litigation, policy advocacy, and public education, Loreal will raise awareness and advocate around Black, Queer youths’ experiences throughout the South and Mid-Atlantic.


Morgan Lewis Co-Sponsors Three Public Service Equal Justice Works Fellowships

My existence as a Black, Queer, orphaned, and first-generation law student from youth into adulthood has been cast out... It feels only natural to me that I continue to advocate for the communities across my backgrounds so that instead of being cast out, people may be called in.

Loreal Hawk /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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