Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice Summer Fellowship

Seevak Fellowship

On some positions, cowardice asks the question, 'Is it expedient?' And then expedience comes along and asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' Conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

Founded in 1978, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is New England’s leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. Civil rights have never been easy to win. Fighting for them takes passion, skill and an absolute determination to prevail. That’s what GLAD delivers every single day. Each time GLAD argues a case or tackles an issue, they take down more of the outdated laws and stereotypes that have denied LGBT people and people with HIV basic protections and opportunities in every area of daily life – family, school, employment, housing, government, health care, and beyond. Whether it’s marriage for same-sex couples, non-discrimination policies for transgender people in the workplace, or protections for people with HIV, GLAD doesn’t shrink from tough issues. And GLAD doesn’t compromise on their belief that every citizen deserves full equality under the law – without exception. Their legal victories have changed the landscape of the law regarding these issues. But more importantly, they have made a difference in the day-to-day lives of countless individuals.

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Proposed responsibilities include:

  • GLAD has two Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) constitutional challenges ongoing. The First Circuit court case may have oral arguments during the summer. If so, it would be a great learning opportunity to see how the constitutionality of a law can be challenged through the courts. The fellow would be asked to study the briefs in the case and then see how the arguments in the briefs are actually used in the oral arguments in the courtroom.
  • GLAD has donated its archives to Yale University. There has been a process of collecting and cataloging the documents that show the 33 history of GLAD. There might be an opportunity to assist in this archiving process.
  • GLAD participates in several PRIDE events during the summer. We usual have a table at each PRIDE event where we explain GLAD’s mission and work. The fellow could learn about GLAD’s mission and work and be one of the people who staffs GLAD’s table.
  • The fellow could assist Glad’s Community Engagement Coordinator in doing outreach to other agencies.
  • GLAD uses the stories of LGBT/HIV people to win the “hearts and minds” of the public. The fellow might interview people and then write their stories so that GLAD could try to get them published by various media outlets.
  • GLAD has a very rich website, uses social media, creates videos and podcasts, etc. The fellow could assist in creating and maintaining these various media.
  • Other responsibilities as agreed upon with your mentor.