Racial Justice Fellows Program

Racial Justice Fellows Program

Launched in August 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests, the Racial Justice Fellows Program is a joint initiative between the Colin Powell School and CCNY’s Black Studies Program, based in the Division of Humanities and the Arts. As it embarks upon its second year, the Racial Justice Fellows Program will continue to place students at the center of efforts to create systemic change, creating a pipeline for students to become deeply involved in antiracist movements. By supporting fellows financially and programmatically, we will cultivate a new generation of leaders who can help build a more just and equitable society.

We are hiring a Leader-in-Residence to help direct the Racial Justice Fellows program! This is a paid part-time or full-time position. Read more about it here.


Early Application Deadline: December 15, 2021

Regular Deadline: Extended to April 8, 2022



In order to apply, please respond to the following questions.

1. How do your educational and professional experiences so far shape your long-term interest in working at a senior level on racial justice and equity issues? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.

2. How would you like to see your career develop over the next decade or two? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.

3. What are three questions you would like to see addressed as part of the program?

4. List 5 organizations that you would like to apply to for your summer internship. (Note: You can always change your mind later.)


We welcome applications from undergraduate students in all CCNY schools and divisions. There is no GPA requirement. However, you must be a full-time undergraduate at CCNY during the 2022-2023 school year and plan to graduate in May 2023 or later. Applicants must be available to pursue and participate in full-time racial justice internships in Summer 2023.



Fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend for approved summer internships.


Six intensive workshops will take place over the course of the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. They will feature speakers who are activists, policy makers, academics, and more. Topics may include efforts to reform the criminal justice system; fight voter suppression; empower Black communities; address environmental justice concerns; and close the racial education gap. The workshops will also provide professional development to assist fellows with their job applications.

In addition to the workshops, fellows will be expected to attend CCNY public events focused on racial justice.



Students will be supported in their applications to summer internships at nonprofit organizations and government agencies working on racial justice and equity. They will not be assigned to organizations, but will be guided through the application process and connected with partner organizations. Fellows are encouraged to think about the particular issues that they want to tackle and the organizations where they would like to intern.


Email Debbie Cheng, Director of Fellowships, at dcheng@ccny.cuny.edu or Teona Pagan, Fellowships Coordinator, at tpagan@ccny.cuny.edu

Completed applications must include the following:

•    Responses to the questions;

•    A resume; and

•    A transcript (can be the unofficial version from CUNYfirst).



CPS_Black Studies Logo


aaAderemi Adebayo

Aderemi Adebayo is a third-year Biomedical Science student in the Sophie Davis Program at City College. She was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn, and is a first-generation Nigerian-American woman whose future goal is to become a physician to serve underserved populations. Aderemi has a particular interest and passion for public and community health and hopes to use the Racial Justice Fellows Program to address and find solutions to disparities in healthcare that exists for communities of color. Aderemi's hobbies and interests include stepping and reading.

mmaMarie Medjine Antoine

Marie Medjine Antoine is a senior at CCNY studying Sociology and Black Studies with a minor in Women Studies. She migrated from Haiti when she was 7 and has been living in Spring Valley, NY ever since. She is driven to curatorial work and art direction because she is passionate about developing art education in underserved communities. She is also driven to create spaces for Black artists to extend their artistry beyond the ideological and material limitations imposed by systems of oppression. To this end, Medjine has curated multiple arts exhibitions and events geared towards the uplift of Black artists and artists of color. As a lifelong artist herself, Medjine also regularly exhibits her own work. Medjine makes deliberate efforts to push her own artistry and create a pedagogy of expression. Her primary mediums include painting, writing and dance.


abAmadou Barry 

Amadou Barry is a first-generation college student, majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology.
Amadou was born and raised in Guinea Conakry, where there is a significant lack of opportunity. In 2017, he relocated to the United States and was given the opportunity to pursue a path in college. He decided to attend CCNY because of the school’s proximity and diversity, which aligns with his values. He also chose CCNY to be able to connect with different people through their shared struggles. Amadou applied to the Racial Justice Fellows Program so that he could be part of a group of people that are willing to learn and strive for changes in underserved communities. He wants to become a primary care physician so that he can be a part of people working toward bringing light to the issue of health disparities. He also wants to bring attention to the lack of resources and personnel related to health care in his hometown Guinea. Amadou is also a big soccer and basketball fan. 


acAudrik Carter

Audrik Carter is a third year in The Sophie Davis Biomedical Educational Program, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. The ability to learn more about racial injustice and how to support underrepresented communities brought Audrik to the Colin Powell School. Audrik is interested in social justice, and plans on becoming a medical doctor to push for more racial justice in the medical community. Audrik is an immigrant from the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, although he was originally born in Martinique. In his spare time he likes to play chess, read books and spend time with his family.


fcrFarida Chickerie Ramkaran

Farida Chickerie Ramkaran is in her third year at CCNY. She is a proud first-generation Jamaican and Indo-Guyanese college student and currently lives in Westchester County. Farida was attracted to CCNY due to its beautiful blend of people and its diverse programs and majors that it offered. Growing up as a child of two immigrants who were of West Indian origin, mental health was a topic that was taboo yet highly visible within her communities. As a teenager she witnessed family members deteriorate due to addiction and abuse to the point that they lost everything. Additionally, as a black person in society she felt that mental health was never prioritized, especially for black women since they constantly deal with trauma both from within and outside their communities. Due to these circumstances, Farida was inspired to major in psychology, advocate for mental health, and create safe spaces for those who are dealing with mental illnesses. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, going to restaurants and fashion. She especially enjoys shopping in vintage stores with the hopes of finding unique and bold clothing articles.


kmKristen Delatour

Kristen M. Delatour is a rising senior at CCNY majoring in Anthropology and minoring in English. She was drawn to the Colin Powell School due to its exceptional professors and staff dedicated to the growth of students both academically and professionally. Within her undergraduate education, she has developed an interest in the archeological and cultural study of Afro-diasporic communities. Her research interests include the study of race, class, and consumption within the Atlantic world with an emphasis on Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latinx foodways. As a Racial Justice Fellow, Kristen aims to continue to develop her knowledge for her passion in public anthropology with goals to engage with work in cultural preservation and heritage activism. 


adAlexis Dickerson

Alexis Dickerson is a third-year undergraduate student in the Sophie Davis program at CCNY who also minors in Sociology. Coming from a Trinidadian and African American background, Alexis is a strong member of her communities and is inspired to seek justice for future generations. She decided to attend Sophie Davis at CCNY because its mission statement of recruiting diverse medical students and training them to provide quality health to underserved communities resonated with her. Alexis hopes to be a physician that will not only save lives, but educate and assist communities on health issues. Specifically, Alexis wants to focus on women's health. In her personal life, Alexis has seen how black women have been ignored by medical professionals, leading to unfortunate avoidable deaths. Alexis believes that by bridging stronger interpersonal ties with community members, physicians can make a larger impact on the health of the community. The Racial Justice Fellowship will aid her in her goals of creating systemic change and further her education and career. 


Khalil Gallop

Khalil Gallop is a Racial Justice Fellow and a senior majoring in Psychology. Hailing from the Bronx, NY, he has an African-American and Native American background and has lived in the borough for his entire life. CCNY and CPS offered him an opportunity to accomplish an objective he is extremely passionate about: helping people break out of their loops of maladaptive behavior and realize their true selves. Through psychology and the Racial Justice Fellowship, he hopes to create an intersection between mental health rehabilitation and the relatively shunned population of BIPOC that have unmitigated trauma to recover from. As such, he aspires to become a licensed psychotherapist. He is an avid poet and writer who hopes to be published someday. He is extremely grateful and elated to be a part of a cohort of passionate, dedicated, and insightful peers.

hgHannah Grunfeld 

Hannah Grunfeld is a senior in Macaulay Honors at CCNY. She is majoring in Anthropology, minoring in Human Rights and Asian studies and on the pre-nursing track. She was born in China, adopted and raised in Long Island, New York. The diverse community and affordable education drew Hannah to City College. In the future, she hopes to become a nursing midwife and work with communities facing reproductive inequities. She aspires to provide birthing people with the resources and ability to make educated choices about their bodies, lives and children, which her birth mothers likely did not have. In her free time, Hannah loves volunteering, traveling, penpalling, playing video games and taking care of her houseplants. 


Oluwafunke Kolawole

Oluwafunke Kolawole is a student in her third year of the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education program at CCNY.  She is pursuing a major in Biomedical Science and a minor in Economics. She aims to be a culturally competent physician-scientist who cares for underserved populations and helps develop structurally equitable care in distant communities. Growing up as an African female in the U.S., Oluwafunke became aware of the disparities experienced by Blacks, especially African immigrants, and women in various aspects of society, including healthcare and access to resources. Her interest in medicine grew from a passion to learn more about sickle cell disease and a desire to become involved in research for its cure and/or treatments. Courses she has taken at CCNY have made her aware of the need to address health disparities and expand the discourse on ethnic representation within the Black community. 


glGreggaria Lazarte

Greggaria Lazarte is a Pop Music and Studio Art major with a Black and Asian Studies minor. They have struggled with their identity for years and have come to the conclusion of announcing themselves as a nonbinary trans woman of color. CCNY drew their attention as they saw diversity and community within the college and they saw an opportunity to make a difference with the Colin Powell School. Through music and art, they wish to display the reality of the people around us; to show that we are not alone. 


slShaina Louis

Shaina Louis is a senior at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, completing her bachelors’ degree in International Studies and a concentration in Comparative Public Policy. She believes that equity is attainable through reform and by centering those who are most disadvantaged when creating policy. Shaina is motivated by her own upbringing in a working-class Haitian household, which informs her commitment to empowering those who are disadvantaged through transformative social change. Shaina’s proficiency in multiple policy areas is informed by her internship experiences with the New York City Council – District Office 41, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and her current role as a Program Intern at Birthright AFRICA. Her focus on domestic and international social policy is also informed by her travel to Ghana as a Birthright AFRICA fellow. Shaina is also interested in global history and the arts, with a focus on West African, Francophone, Caribbean, and diasporic cultures. 


Iimyana McKnight

Iyana McKnight was born and raised on Long Island. Both of her parents are from the island of Jamaica and she spent five years of her life there where her family members instilled important values that she carries to this day. She is in her second year at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at City College where she majors in biomedical science. Her mother introduced her to Sophie Davis when she was seven years old since she had already known she wanted to be a doctor and it became their mission for the next ten years to get her there. As she got older and learned more about the issues in her community and in many minority communities across the country, she realized that she could not see herself being anything other than a doctor. She thought it was the best way to help as many people as possible and inspire future generations like older ones had inspired her. She is interested in combating healthcare inequality and medical racism here in the US and abroad as well as addressing the issue of food deserts. These interests led her to take CCNY’s Black Studies course during her freshman spring semester where she learned of the Racial Justice Fellows Program. She is looking forward to acquiring the necessary tools so she may work with her own community leaders to advocate for what they deserve.

lmLaShawn Miller

Lashawn Miller is a senior Sociology major and is from Brooklyn, NY. She transferred from Buffalo State to CCNY with an interest in social activism and at the suggestion of her guidance counselor at the time, who told her to apply to the Colin Powell School at CCNY because they have a great sociology program and a history of student activism. Miller’s parents have always instilled activism in her by teaching her about Black history and the leaders of incredible social movements. Miller’s activism journey began when her history teacher gave her the book Assata which changed her life and was also around the time of the Trayvon Martin case while Miller was in high school. This led Miller to create a social justice club to help teach her peers about the issues Black people face not only in America but around the world. Miller hopes to become a high school history teacher and go on into higher education to become a professor. In her free time, Miller likes to try new restaurants, specifically Thai food ones, and sit by the water or piers to relax and clear her mind.  

lmLorena Modesto

Lorena Modesto is a junior attending CCNY, has DACA status, and is double majoring in Political Science and Sociology. As part of the CCNY Dream Team, she has advocated for resources and safe spaces for undocumented students on campus. She became the New York Dream Act Education Fellow in 2020 at the New York State Youth Leadership Council, assisting students who apply for state financial aid and providing information about scholarship opportunities, college access workshops, and funding updates. She is eager to continue serving her community, and to keep exploring at the intersection of immigration and education, with a prison abolitionist mindset. Lorena joined the Racial Justice Fellowship to tackle aspects where prisons and detention camps are similar in how they create trauma, threaten families, and enforce violence on Black and brown communities. This segues to a big emphasis on mental health awareness and investing in multilingual resources for immigrant and asylum-seeking communities, accessing basic needs and promoting healthy relationships. 


anAmada Nagberi

Amada Nagberi is in her junior year of obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. As a dual citizen who grew up in Minneapolis, she was inspired to pursue a career as a psychologist after witnessing and experiencing the trauma associated with the black experience. After learning how trauma affects the body physically, intellectually, and emotionally through her degree, she realized the importance of addressing trauma in order to benefit her community and herself. With the recent murder of George Floyd, she now more than ever finds it vital to examine how trauma effects the Black community. She intends to use the Racial Justice Fellowship to investigate racial equity in the mental health field. She spends her free time reading, cooking for her family, collecting perfumes, researching African history, and walking her pitbull, Maxie.


Michelle Obeng

Michelle Obeng is a senior majoring in Business Administration and Management. Born and raised in the Bronx by Ghanaian immigrants, she has always been interested in how the world works and what she could create with her own two hands. While harboring many interests, she currently wants to focus on environmental justice in Black and brown communities. Her awareness of pollution and climate change started by watching "Captain Planet" before school when she was younger. Her current career goal is to become an entrepreneur. In her spare time she enjoys baking, crocheting, consuming anime and manga, and is very interested in hearing stories from around the world.


Sultonmirzo Ravshanbekov


kvKatherine Vargas

Katherine Vargas is a loud and proud first-generation Latina studying Psychology at CCNY. This Dominican-American abolition activist from Uptown NYC is dedicated to emphasizing the beauty and excellence within her culture and communities of color. As a community lover, Katherine uses her many creative talents and organizing skills to help advocate for her people in NYC. Through working directly in political campaigns to organize her own community events in Uptown, Katherine uses her many talents and passions to empower her own communities. Katherine hopes to create community and build long-lasting efforts in her own neighborhood in order to empower the people of her neighborhood. Through her storytelling, she vocalizes the many beautiful and resilient stories of her community that represent not only her people but also her own upbringing.

Last Updated: 05/16/2022 11:01