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Welcome María Blanco & Anna Manuel!

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Please join us in welcoming our latest BKF Fellow and Mentor pair: Anna Manuel and María Blanco! Anna has been selected for our Immigrant Rights Fellowship with María Blanco, Executive Director, University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center (ILSC), serving as Mentor. Please see their PROFILE to learn more.

Launched in November 2014, ILSC is a project of the University of California Office of the President and works in collaboration with the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic to serve undocumented students at all UC campuses (except Berkeley, which has its own program) providing, free of charge, the immigration legal assistance they need in order to achieve their educational goals and reach their full potential.

During this Fellowship, Anna and María will be working closely together on all aspects of ILSC’s work. In addition to spending part of her time providing direct legal services to undocumented students, Anna will also serve as liaison to ILSC partner organization California Campus Catalyst Fund. CCCF is a multi-million dollar, three-year grantmaking initiative to expand support for undocumented students and their families across the state’s three public higher education systems: California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California.

A practicing immigration attorney and passionate social justice advocate, Anna is a proud graduate of City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University who is thrilled to be able to make a contribution to ensuring that undocumented students in California have access to the legal aid necessary to complete their educations. Anna is “beyond excited” to have such an inspiring attorney as her Mentor:

I am honored to be chosen as a Butler Koshland Fellow. I am grateful to be receiving the mentorship of an inspiring and knowledgeable advocate and leader like María Blanco, and for the opportunity to humbly serve the legal needs of immigrant student communities and their families. I believe this will be a life-changing, one-of-a-kind opportunity for me to recognize and harness my own potential to lead and inspire.

At BKF, we join Anna in her admiration of María and are honored to have her as a BKF Mentor, especially during such a complicated and fraught time for immigrants. California is home to approximately 2.5 million undocumented immigrants—more than any other state—and BKF recognizes immigrant rights as a key civil rights issue of our time. For these reasons and more, we are grateful that María will be sharing not only her legal expertise with Anna, but also sharing her journey as a civil rights leader and institution builder. Thank you, María!

I am thrilled that Anna will be joining the UC Center for Immigrant Legal Services as a Butler Koshland Fellow.  One of my greatest pleasures over the years has been, and continues to be, the mentoring of talented advocates who represent the future of the movement for social justice.  I am honored that BKF has brought Anna to our doors.

We are deeply grateful for the support we’ve received in launching this fellowship, especially from the Hellman Foundation and its incredible team, whose dedication to and knowledge of this cause have served as a guiding light for us. Also, we are thankful to the many staff members at the University of California who have provided their expertise in making this partnership possible. Thank you!