Our Masiyiwa-Bernstein fellowship partner organizations are engaged in cutting-edge human rights work, with a commitment to provide substantively rich opportunities for our fellows during their one year placement.
Every year, two organizations from our three fellowship categories (legal empowerment, rule of law, and NYU human rights institute) are selected, with applicants encouraged to apply to one or both of them, if interested. Descriptions of our exciting partner organizations are provided below.
Beyond Legal Aid is transforming how lawyers and communities work together. Beyond's model unites lawyers and activists to shift the power of the law to communities directly impacted by injustice: partnering with grassroots organizations to build community-located, community-operated, and most importantly community-directed legal aid programs. Beyond supports the empowerment of community members and leverages the power of organized communities. Through their network of over 20 community-driven programs, Beyond collaborates with over 4000 underserved community members annually on a comprehensive range of legal issues including employment, housing, family, immigration, civil rights, and criminal records—combining legal services with organizing and activism to achieve more impact than lawyers working alone.
The Community Justice Project collaborates closely with community organizers and grassroots groups in low-income communities of color because they believe that a more democratic, more just and more equal society can only truly come about through grassroots organizing and social movement. They are a part of that social movement in South Florida and strive to support organizing through our varied and often innovative legal work. The Community Justice Project works in the areas of immigration, housing, climate (particular as it connects to housing), workers rights, bail, and disaster recovery.
Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. Our model integrates multi-issue, multi-generational organizing – on workers’ rights, tenant rights, LGBTQ justice, youth power and policing, public schools and education justice, immigration justice, and climate – with an array of wraparound services that create a space of safety and support for entire families.
Namati advances social and environmental justice by building a movement of people to know, use, and shape the law. Namati works in partnership with community paralegals — sometimes known as “grassroots advocates” or “barefoot lawyers” — in six countries. The paralegals support their communities to protect common lands, enforce environmental law, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship. Together with the communities we serve, we strive to translate the lessons from this grassroots experience into positive, large-scale changes to laws and systems. Namati’s Global Programs team collaborates with each of our country teams to refine program strategy, support learning through grassroots experimentation, and develop new initiatives that strengthen our core areas of focus. We provide hands-on support while fostering comparative learning on legal empowerment across all of the places where we work.
Rule of Law and Defense of Dissent
On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. Activists fighting for freedom around the globe continue to look to our country for inspiration and count on us for support. Upholding human rights is not only a moral obligation; it’s a vital national interest: America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values. Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. They work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations, with a team including leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice. Whether in the United States or abroad, RFK Human Rights programs have pursued strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of students in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.
NYU Human Rights Institute or Clinics
The Global Justice Clinic engages in work to prevent, challenge, and redress rights violations related to global inequality. Recognizing that our location at a well-resourced law school in the Global North gives us unique opportunities for advocacy and accountability, we seek to build partnerships with communities, grassroots organizations, and human rights groups negatively impacted by Northern-based governments, companies, and institutions. Working on cases and projects that involve domestic and cross-border human rights violations, the deleterious impacts of conduct by state and non-state actors, and emerging problems that require close collaboration between actors at the local and international levels, students engage in human rights investigation, advocacy, and litigation in domestic and international settings. Serving as partners, legal advisers, counsel, or co-counsel, Clinic students work side-by-side with human rights activists from the United States and around the world. The Global Justice Clinic is committed to working in a rights-based manner and uses legal empowerment strategies aimed at enhancing the capacity and agency of those most directly impacted by human rights violations.
Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy.
NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights is the first-ever human rights center based at a business school and advances a "pro-business, high standards" model for business and human rights.