Six Northeastern Law Students Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowships
Left to right: Amanda Flores ’24; Michelle Fujii ’24; Maria Solis Kennedy ’24; Shaun Spinney ’24; Destiny Taylor ’24; Tiffany Wang ’24.
07.12.23 — The Peggy Browning Fund has awarded 10-week summer fellowships to Amanda Flores ’24, Michelle Fujii ’24, Maria Solis Kennedy ’24, Shaun Spinney ’24, Destiny Taylor ’24 and Tiffany Wang ’24. The application process is highly competitive and the awards were based on their outstanding qualifications. In 2023, the Peggy Browning Fund will support at least 105 public interest labor law fellowships nationwide, the largest cohort in the organization’s history. Securing a Peggy Browning Fellowship is not an easy task, with over 550 applicants this year competing for the honor. Peggy Browning Fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but who have also demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.
Amanda Flores ’24 will spend her fellowship at Global Labor Justice/International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ/ILRF) in Washington, DC. Flores grew up on the Philippine island of Cebu before moving at age 11 to Portland, Oregon. Determined to address social inequalities in ways that respected cultural differences, she majored in social anthropology at Harvard, with her studies taking her to Bolivia and Rwanda. After graduation, she joined migrant rights nonprofit Justice in Motion and worked with Central American lawyers to rectify the US government’s child separation policy at the border. Unionizing with her colleagues and successfully negotiating a collective bargaining agreement proved to her the power of organized labor as a means of improving their working conditions. As a future labor lawyer, Flores now aims to synthesize the resurgence of the US labor movement with the international perspective necessary to confront today’s interconnected crises. Through her fellowship with GLJ-ILRF, she looks forward to uniting the struggles of workers across the globe to achieve a dignified future for all.
Michelle Fujii ’24 will spend her fellowship at International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) in Washington, DC. Originally from Japan, Fujii grew up concerned about many global issues. At Antioch College, she pursued her interests by working for a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, assisting the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University, and learning about urban reforestation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She directed her focus to the labor movement while working at a plaintiff-side employment law firm where she received a crash course in employment law and context for her family’s experiences of workplace discrimination and wage theft. This job deepened her understanding of the prevalence of workplace injustices and the various forms of worker exploitation. As a student at Northeastern Law, Fujii has learned more about worker organizing and unions through her classes and extracurricular activities. Her first co-op was at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She hopes to use her law degree to further the interests of people over profit.
Maria Solis Kennedy ’24, a Public Interest Law Scholar (PILS) at Northeastern Law, will spend her fellowship at Greater Boston Legal Services. Solis Kennedy grew up in Boise, Idaho, before moving to Maine to study English and Spanish literature at Bowdoin College. She has fought for workers’ rights alongside immigrants and farmworkers both in Downeast Maine and through the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ fair food campaign. Solis Kennedy was introduced to legal advocacy as a fellow with the ACLU of Idaho. She first came to Boston to live and work at Haley House, a soup kitchen and intentional living community. She has also worked as a barista and a nanny. She has completed a co-op at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division and represented a client seeking parole through Northeastern’s Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. Solis Kennedy is excited to be a Peggy Browning Fellow and use her law degree for working people and collective liberation movements.
Shaun Spinney ’24 will spend his fellowship at UAW International Union in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to law school, Spinney worked as a community organizer and patient advocate with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, where he joined with healthcare workers across the organization in a successful unionization effort of the health centers and administrative departments. While always having passion for worker’s rights, this personal experience sparked his labor law. Spinney earned his bachelor’s degree at Carleton College in Minnesota where he studied international relations and political economy. As part of his studies, he was awarded a fellowship to research the intersection between urban design policy and the informal economy in India, focused on street vending the city of Chandigarh. Spinney is excited for the opportunity to work within the labor movement and to be part of the struggle for a future of dignity for all.
Destiny Taylor ’24 will spend her fellowship at Justice at Work in Boston. Taylor is a first-generation American and Law student from Miami, Florida. She graduated summa cum laude from Florida International University with a bachelor’s in psychology and certificates in writing and law, ethics and society. As the granddaughter of a union member, Taylor is passionate about combining psychology and justice for traditionally marginalized communities. She hopes to create a practice where non-citizens are provided with both the legal and psychological support they need. At Northeastern, Taylor serves as the co-chair of the First-Generation Law Association and is an active member of the Latin American Law Student Association. She looks forward to combining immigrant rights with the labor movement and advancing the rights of individuals in her community.
Tiffany Wang ’24 will spend her fellowship be at Equal Justice Center in Austin, Texas. Wang is a third- generation Chinese Taiwanese American born and raised in Maryland. As a café worker, she organized to unionize her workplace, building solidarity with workers of all backgrounds. Wang completed a co-op at Greater Boston Legal Service’s Asian Outreach Center. There, she practiced a community lawyering model, working individually with Mandarin-speaking clients and conducting legal research on workers’ rights and possibilities for deportation defense. Wang is a member of Northeastern’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and has participated in the Immigrant Justice Clinic. She also co-facilitates the Chinatown Stabilization Committee, a volunteer organization for young Chinese Americans advocating to protect Boston’s Chinatown. An abolitionist, Wang imagines a world beyond capitalism, exploitation and borders.
About Northeastern University School of Law
The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.
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