Jess Gallagher (they/any) is a Human Rights MA candidate at Columbia University where they currently serve as the Co-Editor for RightsViews and the Co-President of the Human Rights Graduate Group (HRGG). Jess serves on the National Advisory Board, National Museum Committee, and the Collections, Archives, and Museum Inventory Committee at Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance (PMPA), advocating for the creation of a National Museum of Disability History, Culture, and Civil Rights. They also work as a Production Coordinator at the Columbia Journalism School, archival researcher, writer, and served as an editorial intern at the international academic journal Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ). Their concentration in the field of human rights is disability justice, historic preservation, and abolition. Their research focuses on disability history, pride, and culture from the 19th century to the present. Using the lens of History, Disability and Mental Health law, Abolition, Oral History, and Storytelling, Jess aims to work as a disability oral historian whose activism centers on grassroots organizing, uplifting the lived experiences of people with disabilities from across all identity markers, and preserving historical sites of conscience.
Meryem Bahadir (she/her) is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, holding a B.A. in English Literature/Writing with a concentration on the visual representation of violence in media, and a minor in Human Rights. Currently pursuing an M.A. in Human Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, she is dedicated to researching state-sanctioned violence in the Middle East, particularly from an international criminal law framework. She expanded her academic horizons through studies at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Washington College of Law, where she lived temporarily at The Hague and was a visiting student attending lectures at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Eurojust European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, and International Court of Justice (ICJ), complementing her passion for international law.
Meryem’s professional journey is marked by roles as a Congressional Lobbyist and Advocacy Assistant for the I-NGO Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (ADHRB), Engagement Intern at the World Justice Project (WJP), and Liaison and Researcher with Scholars at Risk @ UC San Diego. She additionally worked as a Human Trafficking Prevention Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning intern with Project Concern International’s (PCI) San Diego Division. Presently, she works as an extern(ship) researcher with Asser Institute, working on the International Criminal Database.
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