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Headshot of Nickole Durbin-Felix

Nickole Durbin-Felix

  • Hosted by LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Sponsored by Disaster Resilience Program
  • Service location Orlando, Florida
  • Law school University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
  • Issue area Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response and Preparedness
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Disaster Resilience Program

The Project

Nickole Durbin-Felix (she/her/hers) will work with LatinoJustice to address climate justice issues facing Latinx communities in Florida and Puerto Rico.

During her Fellowship at LatinoJustice, Nickole will provide legal services to community residents in various Central Florida counties directly impacted by Hurricane Ian. In addition, she will identify areas for policy change and reform. She will also engage with various community organizations that advocate for those impacted by natural disasters. As many climate refugees have fled Puerto Rico and relocated to Florida, Nickole will be working with these communities to address unmet needs, as well as assisting those still living on the island with needs stemming directly from increased natural disasters.

Fellowship Plans

To achieve this goal, Nickole will collaborate with and participate in the Florida statewide legal aid initiative to develop a disaster response plan. She will also engage in community outreach and educational activities, such as Know-Your-Rights presentations. She will also create partnerships with organizations across Florida and Puerto Rico, including a new hotline for those facing problems associated with FEMA applications or other related issues.

Inspiration

Nickole’s family was directly impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017 when it ripped through her community of Camuy, Puerto Rico. In the aftermath, her grandfather faced problems with FEMA and insurance to receive a new roof on part of his home. After seeing the devastation firsthand, and later working to rebuild people’s homes, she knew that she needed to help people following a natural disaster in their most vulnerable times. Now living in Florida, she has decided to dedicate her legal career to assisting others in these situations to ensure that people receive the assistance they need and that no one faces uncertainty and lack of access to basic human decency.

I believe that no one should be left behind in the face of disaster—it is our duty to show up, help provide, and give each other a hand. We are stronger when we stand together, and this fight is for us.

Nickole Durbin-Felix /
2023 Fellow in the Disaster Resilience Program

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