Youth Organizing Fellows 2021

Meet AU’s first-ever cohort of ten Youth Organizing Fellows is a talented group of student and community leaders, policy advocates, grassroots organizers, and change-makers from across the country.

“I am a Master’s student of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University. I joined AU to advance policy that I know will be impactful, effective and needed for all, regardless of spiritual and/or religious beliefs. I’m grateful for the opportunity to build upon what I have learned as an activist and student in this position with AU as a youth organizing fellow.”–Alex Jackson, Pittsburgh, Pa. | she

“I am a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in sociology.  Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I know first-hand the importance of church state separation. I joined AU to learn ways to improve my leadership skills and ability to set goals while also achieving them with my community. AU has molded me to be a smarter, more thoughtful and effective leader.”–Bryant Nguyen, Orlando, Fla. | he

“I am an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Statistics. I’m the daughter of two Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, and I hope to support the fight for religious freedom using data-driven arguments to uplift policies benefitting historically marginalized communities.”–Ariana Khan, Canton, Mich. | she

“I am a senior at Brown University studying Middle East Studies and Judaic Studies. I became a feminist in a fourth grade Judaics class, questioning why women’s stories were so rarely told, and I’ve been an activist for women in religion and religious minorities ever since.  I hope to educate other activists about the ways in which church-state separation actually underlies many of the most crucial issues we are fighting for.”–Claire Davidson Miller, Providence, R.I | she

“I am a college freshman with a passion for reproductive justice and sexual assault prevention. I’ve served as a sex educator and activist for organizations like Planned Parenthood for several years; I joined the fellowship to deepen my understanding of issues that matter to me.”–Jane Brinkley, Eugene, Oregon | she

“As the head of the reproductive justice organization at my school and a passionate LGBTQ rights advocate, I know the importance of church-state separation. I plan to educate others about how religious freedom impacts all of us, and promote the Do No Harm Act to prevent religion from being used to discriminate against others.”–Katie Fleischer, Northampton, Mass. | she, they

“I joined the AU Youth fellowship to become a better organizer and legislative advocate. This fellowship gives me the chance to learn about how church-state separation affects women, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrant communities, and others.  I will apply the organizing skills I learn during this fellowship to campaigns focused on furthering church-state separation, as well as other progressive issues I care about.”–Kevin Chisolm II, Washington, D.C. | he

“I am a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ equality, youth empowerment, and environmental justice. As a survivor of religious harm, I know firsthand that religion should not be used to harm people or deny people equality and freedom. I plan to inform my community about the importance of separation of church and state, the significance of the Do No Harm Act, and spread the message that our government should not place certain religions in higher respects than others.”–Prin Ocea, Tampa, Fla. | they

“As a queer person of color, I’m passionate about policy change because it can ensure legal equality and recognition under the law. Separation of church and state is necessary to protect the rights of religious minorities, LGBTQ+ communities, and other marginalized communities. As an AU Fellow, I will continue advocating for religious freedoms.”–Ranen Miao, St. Louis, Mo. | he

“I became a Fellow because I realized that I have been advocating for church-state separation without fully understanding the scope of Christian nationalism in this country. Through this fellowship, I will gain a greater understanding of Christian nationalism and the tools I need to fight it through the realm of reproductive justice.”–Sophia Kics, Notre Dame, Ind. | she

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