Fellowship Activities & Events

In addition to their work at their placement organizations, RJ Fellows engage in a variety of activities and events throughout the year designed to supplement their training and enrich their fellowship experience. Here are some recent highlights.


Being in D.C. provides truly one-of-a-kind opportunities for learning and networking, and we are honored to be working with our tremendous allies to ensure a meaningful fellowship experience.

So far, 2014 is off to a great start: Fellows attended the hearing for the No Tax Payer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7), where an all-male committee considered far-reaching restrictions on abortion. They also participated in an all-day Media Training with Women Politics Media, which included workshops on social media, op-ed writing, and video interviewing. And with all of the repro-related cases coming up in the Supreme Court, Fellows are getting the chance to see advocates and arguments in action, even if it requires camping out overnight in the freezing cold!

Fellows at the Media Training

Buffer Zone Case

All Above All Lobby Day

The end of 2013 was a busy time for the RJ Fellows – they attended the Beyond Roe conference at Rutgers-Camden; participated in various trainings including RJ messaging, Intro to the Legislative Process and the Affordable Care Act, and public speaking 101; and attended the Health Advocates conference held by the National Health Law Program where they learned more about wonky details of the Medicaid and the ACA.

First and Second Year Fellows at the Beyond Roe Conference


Welcome 2013-14 Fellows!

The summer is over and LSRJ welcomes the fourth class of Fellows to the program. We look forward to another year of new experiences and inspiring RJ advocacy!

2013-14 RJ Fellows at orientation


Farewell 2012-13 Fellows!

2012-13 RJ Fellows and Director


Spring is here and the Fellows have been active on many fronts, showing their support for immigration reform and standing up for the rights of pregnant women.


Rally for Bei Bei Shuai in Indiana


2013 is off to a great start! Six of the Fellows kicked off the new year with a visit to Senator Barbara Boxer’s office to learn about the day-to-day work of a Senate Legislative Aide from former RJ Fellow Lucy Panza.  Meanwhile, Christine Poquiz attended a hearing  in Virginia on HB 1316, yet another sex-selective abortion ban, which died in subcommittee, thanks to the powerful testimony of NAPAWF Reproductive Justice Program Director and former RJ Fellow Shivana Jorawar. For more on Asian Pacific Islander women and abortion, check out Christine’s terrific piece, Have We Really Come That Far? API Women and Abortion 40 Years After Roe.


Melissa Torres-Montoya, Liz Chen, Jeryl Hayes, Deodonne Bhattarai, former Fellow Lucy Panza, Laura Nixon, Candace Gibson, and RJFP Director Mariko Miki


Welcome to winter! As 2012 draws to a close, the Fellows continue to develop their advocacy skills, in part by attending the National Health Law Program‘s Health Advocates conference, and to share their growing expertise through policy briefings and articles. Check out a blog post about how requiring government issued IDs not only disenfranchises voters, but can also impede access to emergency contraception. Fellows also delivered letters to Congress for the We Belong Together campaign, which brings attention to the ways that unjust immigration laws affect women, children, and families.

Christine Poquiz, Liz Chen, Candace Gibson and Jeryl Hayes deliver letters to Congress


Fall is here!  The Fellows have been busy working on coalitions, organizing campaigns, blogging, drafting issue briefs, and visiting the Hill. They’ve also attended trainings on policy writing, lobbying, and public speaking; participated in the LSRJ – National Women’s Law Center Webinar Series “If You Care About…”; and presented at conferences and symposia. And somehow they still find time to relax and have fun!

Fall Frolic: (l-r, back row) Jeryl Hayes, Candace Gibson, friend, Laura Nixon, Melissa Torres-Montoya, (front row) Christine Poquiz, Liz Chen, Deodonne Bhattarai


Welcome New 2012-13 RJ Fellows!

Seven new RJ Fellows have started their fellowships at seven organizations in Washington, D.C.  The fellowship kicked off with an orientation held at American University. Presenters included LSRJ Executive Director Sabrina Andrus on RJ 101 & 201; Daniela Kraiem (American University’s Women and the Law Program) on the law school’s resources; Aimee Thorne-Thomsen (Advocates for Youth) on coalition work inside the Beltway; and the outgoing RJ Fellows on introduction to policy and Hill advocacy.
Farewell to the 2011-12 RJ Fellows

The end of August brought the conclusion of the second year of the RJFP.  2011-12 RJ Fellows are poised to take their fellowship experience with them to new and exciting ventures. LSRJ commemorated and celebrated the outgoing RJ Fellows with a graduation reception at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in Washington, D.C.

Please join us in congratulating the 2011-12 RJ Fellows on a successful year advocating for access and equality in federal policy! May the RJFP launch them on life-long careers in reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy.


In July 2012, the RJ Fellows attended and presented at the annual LSRJ Leadership Institute. Held at Berkeley Law School, the Leadership Institute brings together student leaders from across the country for two days of intensive advocacy and campus activism training.

2012 LSRJ Leadership Institute attendees

Erin Armstrong excited by the RJFP shirt

Marisa Spalding with incoming RJ Fellow Jeryl Hayes


In March 2012, the RJ Fellows got involved with various events surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) anniversary and attended rallies in support of the ACA hearings at the Supreme Court.


In February 2012, RJ Fellows shared their insight and expertise on at a number of conferences. Fellows Shivana Jorawar and Anjela Jenkins presented on a panel called Influencing Policy: From Discussion to Campaign at the LSRJ Northeast Regional Conference held at New York Law School.  Shivana and Anjela also spoke, along with Rebecca Spence, at the LSRJ Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference held at American University Washington College of Law.

Shivana Jorawar (far right) speaking on a panel


Rebecca Spence (far right) speaking on a panel


Also in February, Keely Monroe spoke at the National Press Club with students from Catholic University and other local campuses about the regulations recently proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services for birth control coverage without co-pay or deductible.  The event, organized by Catholics for Choice, came in response to the subsequent outcry from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. To watch a video of the C-Span coverage, please click here (Keely starts at 14:30).



In January, the Fellows had the opportunity to meet with Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). Lynn gave a presentation entitled, “The Limits of Reproductive Rights Litigation: What If We Weren’t Afraid to Lose Roe?” and discussed national litigation undertaken by NAPW on behalf of pregnant women.

About the event, Erin Armstrong said, “There are a few work-related experiences that I look back on and cite as moments in my own professional exploration and development that I really credit with broadening, deepening, or changing my view of the work that I do.  I have a feeling that years from now, when I look back on [our conversation with Lynn], today may be one of those moments.  She really unlocked some deep thinking that I’ll be sitting with for some time.  I think she gave us all a sobering but energizing dose of motivation and courage.”

In December, the Fellows attended the Raising Our Voices summit, which brought together 100 grassroots activists, civic officials, and community leaders to develop a Latina reproductive rights agenda. Summit participants identified and prioritized a list of 15 action steps needed in 2011 to address existing health disparities and advance the reproductive and human rights of Latinas.