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Celebrating the 2021 Fellows Upholding LGBTQ+ Rights

/ Blog Post

On May 12, we announced the 77 new Fellows in our 2021 class, who, later this year, will launch their public interest careers through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship of their own design.

In honor of Pride month, we spoke with 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellows Lucie Gulino and A.D. Lewis about their LGBTQ+ rights-focused projects.

Photo of Lucie Gulino
Photo of Lucie Gulino

At Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), Lucie Gulino (she/her/hers) will launch a first-of-its-kind clemency and family support project focused on holistic advocacy and outreach to lower-income Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC)—populations that are disproportionately incarcerated.

Clemency is “a critical tool that enables the [Massachusetts] Governor to retroactively combat the detrimental impacts of the criminal justice system,” which includes the over-policing of marginalized identities and communities. In 2020, however, more than 100 petitioners sought commutation—one form of clemency—in Boston, yet only a single petitioner was successful. This is partly due to the fact that clemency petitioners do not receive right to counsel during this process, and there is a dearth of attorneys available to provide representation. Lucie’s Fellowship seeks to change that.

“Community-based legal advocacy is an essential way to mitigate the immediate violence the criminal justice system enacts upon BIPOC and QTPOC,” said Lucie. Through her Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Lucie will create a clemency pro bono clinic at GBLS’s CORI & Re-entry Project, which will provide legal assistance and representation to petitioners; host community meetings and Know Your Rights events for those with incarcerated loved ones; and engage in a public education campaign to raise awareness about the potential to reimagine clemency as a tool for racial justice.

Community-based legal advocacy is an essential way to mitigate the immediate violence the criminal justice system enacts upon BIPOC and QTPOC.

Lucie Gulino /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Photo of A.D. Lewis
Photo of A.D. Lewis

At Disability Rights California, A.D. Lewis (he/him/his and they/them/theirs) will represent trans people with disabilities in jails, psychiatric facilities, and/or immigration detention centers.

Transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals experience significant discrimination, mistreatment, and violence when incarcerated; including sexual and physical violence, inadequate mental health and medical care, harassment, and denials of fundamental self-expression. As a result, high rates of PTSD, suicidal ideation, and exacerbation of existing mental health needs is common. By focusing on the most marginalized and underserved trans people, A.D. hopes to “challenge the structural barriers that trans people with disabilities face when seeking justice, fair treatment, and adequate care.”

“As a trans lawyer, I will fight for the most marginalized people in my community,” A.D. said. “They deserve fierce legal advocacy and caring community.”

As a trans lawyer, I will fight for the most marginalized people in my community. They deserve fierce legal advocacy and caring community.

A.D. Lewis /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

To learn more about Equal Justice Works Fellows and alums supporting the LGBTQ+ community, visit here.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow