2008 Fellows

    Desiree Carver-Thomas

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“The flashing lights of New York City often betray its less glamorous heart and soul. New York is a city of immigrants, living and working in every neighborhood and sector, but the average Columbia student often overlooks their concerns. While the debate over immigration rages on nationally, the issue has considerable relevance from the city level to our very own campus. As easy as it may be to ignore, working at the New York Immigration Coalition has brought the plight of immigrant New Yorkers to the fore of my consciousness, while raising my awareness of the incredible work people all over the city do to fight for immigrants’ rights.”

“As the Special Projects intern at the NYIC, my assignments covered a wide range of activities, from publishing a newsletter, to advocating on the steps of City Hall, to documenting the oral history of the organization, and everything in between. Each gave me a particular insight into immigration policy, advocacy and non-profit work, and city politics.”

“In the wide world of advocacy there is a place for everyone, whether it be the lawyer, the radical, the social worker, youth, office types, or people rallying in the streets and there are endless ways to approach immigrant advocacy. Realizing this has strengthened my resolve that it’s the only work for me, regardless of how I choose to take it on.”