Photo of Martina Tiku

Martina Tiku

  • Hosted by NAACP
  • Sponsored by The Clorox Company
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Martina advocates on behalf of Atlanta’s tenants to improve housing stability in Atlanta by using grassroots advocacy, client-driven affirmative litigation, and tenant education to redress housing-related legal issues and their underlying causes.

Atlanta has one of the highest eviction rates in the country and this housing instability disproportionately affects predominately Black communities in the area. The costs of housing instability play out in all aspects of these tenants’ lives, from healthcare to education to voting rights. These housing issues are often only framed as a family’s inability to pay rent, rather than a result of unmet legal needs and predatory landlord practices. Many of these tenants are not aware of their rights and defenses to evictions and are often unrepresented in legal eviction proceedings.

As someone born and raised in Georgia, Martina has personally seen members of her community struggle as a result of the rising eviction crisis in Atlanta. As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to exacerbate this housing crisis, Martina believes that now, more than ever, it is important to empower tenants and support them in fighting to stay in their homes.

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the first year of the Fellowship, Martina has:

  • Established a Housing Advocacy Partnership with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers’ Foundation that provided eviction awareness and support for individuals facing eviction in the Metro-Atlanta area
  • Launched the Columbia Branch Housing Navigator Program which has helped over 100 tenants facing eviction through advice on their housing rights and the CDC eviction moratorium, as well as volunteer trainings
  • Presented to 230 individuals about how to access financial assistance to pay for rent or utilities
  • Complied a fact sheet about the housing crisis, which was distributed nationwide

Next Steps

In the next year, Martina plans to:

  • Bring the NAACP Housing Navigator Program to Atlanta in order to provide tenants with legal and financial assistance
  • Conduct monthly Know-Your-Rights trainings for at-risk tenants in Atlanta and engage Clorox attorneys in these trainings
  • Develop an affirmative litigation strategy for housing-related issues


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Growing up outside of Atlanta, I saw how housing instability was directly related to the way in which Black people were treated in every aspect of their lives.

Martina Tiku /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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