A dark skinned black woman is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black shirt and is posing against a dark brown background.Laïssa Alexis (she/her) is a MA student in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. She was born and lived in Haiti for 8 years, before moving to her current home in New Jersey. A graduate of Wellesley College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace and Justice Studies, Laïssa is interested comparative studies of regional human rights particular the African Union and the Inter-American system, transnational human rights solidarity movements, feminist internationalism and anti-imperialism. She enjoys reading science fiction, writing, watching movies, food and always pencils time during her day to daydream.


Meryem Bahadir (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in English Literature/Writing with a concentration on the visual of violence in media. She is a current Human Rights M.A. student at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University with intent to research state-sanctioned violence in the Middle East. Previously, she worked as a Congressional Lobbyist and Advocacy Assistant for the I-NGO Americans for Democracy and Human Rights, interned as a Human Trafficking Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning intern for Project Concern International (San Diego Division), and was an Engagement Intern at the World Justice Project in Washington DC.

Within her scope of interests lies writing in all forms of the medium, social justice and advocacy, and consuming concerning amounts of visual media. Her favorite Studio Ghibli movie is Princess Mononoke and her favorite music genre is alternative rock.


Female presenting individual in black shirt leaning against wall.Jana Brown (she/her) is a MA candidate in Human Rights Studies with a concentration in corporate accountability, proliferation of arms, and war crimes at Columbia University. Prior to coming to Columbia, Jana ran the US-based operations for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Here, she collaborated with IJDH’s Haitian-based legal firm on efforts related to institutional accountability, rule of law, and gender-based violence. Jana has also worked at the Carr Center for Human Right Policy at Harvard University, overseeing a myriad of research portfolios related to artificial intelligence, transitional justice, and migration. She has collaborated with the UN High Commissioners Office for Human Rights, UN Fund for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, Nadia’s Initiative, and others.


Zeqi Chen (she/her) is a first-year MA student in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. Her research focuses on how Women of Color Feminism and Critical Race Theory highlight the intersection of race, gender, and class in shaping society within social justice issues such as decolonization and mass incarceration. She received a BA in Literature and Rhetoric focusing on the intersection of literature and feminism, specifically feminist writers of color and postcolonial literature examining fluid social oppressive systems. Zeqi was one of the few international students who served as a writing tutor at Writing Initiative during her undergraduate years. By collaborating with the underrepresented group on writing, she rethought the concern between North American academic writing standards and the expression of self-identity while working on the decolonization of Writing Center. She is participating in the production of the podcast series CRT2 at Columbia Law School. CRT2 aims to apply the Critical Race Theory framework to the legal, social, and political issues raised by prison slavery and compulsory prison labor in the United States with a public-oriented format.


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