/ Blog Post
In honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, we celebrate the work of our Fellows who are bringing us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community”—a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.
“Service is how I express my gratitude to my community for supporting me and how I ensure other children of immigrants have the opportunity to succeed. Service is a part of me, and I strive to show others the importance of reaching back and empowering their local communities,” said 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow Anne Piervil who is sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation.
At Florida Legal Services, Anne provides direct legal services through a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) with a local clinic serving Haitian farmworkers in Central Florida to improve work-related social determinants of health. Haitian farmworkers have difficulties accessing legal aid and face unique barriers to healthcare access, including unfamiliarity with preventative medicine, concerns about the safety of Western pharmacological medicine, and mistrust of the public health system. Anne works to build trust in her community and educate Haitian farmers about the resources available to them, including the importance of MLPs and the need for a holistic approach to health and wellness.
2020 Fellow Carlos Andino designed a project that would allow him to be an ally and advocate for communities of color, as he himself has witnessed how racism can stunt growth through systemic barriers. At Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Carlos—whose work is supported by an anonymous sponsor—provides litigation, advocacy, and community programming to meet the identified needs of Black and Brown residents in the Washington, D.C. area, who are plagued by unjust racially motivated police practices. Like Anne, he too is focused on building trust with communities that have been betrayed by their institutions, and is working hard to find new approaches and arguments to empower individuals who have been left behind.
“I feel summoned to listen and understand the burdens of those around me and to lift their voices. This means actively denouncing voices that try to drown theirs out and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable,” explained Carlos on the challenges he faces serving his community.
In Virginia’s Greater Richmond Region, where evictions are significantly higher than the national average, 2019 Fellow Kateland Woodcock works with Fellows and Community Organizers in the Housing Justice Program* to help reduce housing instability and combat systemic inequities impacting residents in the region.
“Community is the thread that binds us all together, and it’s important to take care of each other for our community to be its best,” noted Kateland, on what motivates her to do this work.
Community is the thread that binds us all together, and it’s important to take care of each other for our community to be its best.
Kateland Woodcock /
2019 Equal Justice Works Fellow
Over the last year, Kateland has been responding to the housing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic by assisting with emergency eviction cases, educating the community about the government’s responses to evictions, and collaborating with legal aid organizations to inform government actors about the eviction crisis itself and its effects on health.
We are proud of all our Fellows for bringing lasting change to our communities, our justice system, and our country. Learn more about their commitment to public service here.
*The Housing Justice Program is made possible thanks to the generosity of The JPB Foundation.