Meet our 2021 Labor Summer Interns

UC Berkeley Labor Center

We’re thrilled to introduce the Labor Center’s Labor Summer 2021 intern class! Now in its third decade, Labor Summer is a rare paid educational internship that connects students with the labor movement in California.

Starting June 21, this talented group will begin their internship remotely, divided into two tracks: “Learn Organizing Skills” and “Applied Research and Policy.” They will learn from and work with labor and community organizations in California, applying their skills in real-world settings on issues vital to the state’s working people.

Alejandra Sanchez-Castro is a first-generation college student, daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, and a Bay Area native. She is a junior at UCLA, double majoring in labor studies and Chicana/o and Central American studies. She is a Bruin Ambassador where she offers insight and resources on the college application process to underserved high school students. She interned at the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area and Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto.

Alejandro Prado is a PhD candidate in Chicana/o Studies at UCSB and graduated from UC Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Chicana/o studies. At UCSB he worked as a research assistant for the Global Latinidades Project and the Transnationalizing the Study of the United States research cluster. Alejandro enjoys hiking the mountains of the San Gabriel Valley with his two dogs.

Andrea Lyn Mateo is a graduate of Occidental College with bachelor’s degree in urban and environmental policy and a minor in public health. Her passion for organizing began when her father worked as a housekeeper for hotels in Hawai’i and was involved with UNITE HERE! Local 5. This passion followed her in college where she became a part of Occidental College’s Student Labor Alliance and organized cleaning and dining staff.

Diana Ramirez is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Chicano studies. Her upbringing in East Los Angeles has inspired her to do community work and research based in her community, for her community. Since transferring from East Los Angeles College, Diana has found a home at the Transfer Student Center where she serves as a Peer Advocate to support incoming transfer students. Diana also enjoys roller skating, exploring coffee shops, and going to ball games (Go Giants!), and shows.

Elizabeth Avila is a graduate of UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science. Hailing from the Central Valley, Elizabeth is passionate about social justice and serving resourceful and resilient communities. She previously interned at AFSCME organizing child care providers in New York. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks and singing along to her favorite music.

Gisselle Lydia Salgado is a graduate of Earlham College with a bachelor’s degree in peace & global studies and Spanish & Hispanic studies. Gisselle has been involved with Bonner Scholars and McNair Scholars research and has organized with SEIU and UNITE HERE. Outside of organizing, Gisselle is passionate about exploring expression through fashion and cosmetics, which may be connected to the fact that they are a proud Pisces.

Originally from New York, Katherine Fennell is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in American studies. Her concentration has focused on the relationship between capitalism and racial justice movements in the United States. She previously interned with SEIU 521 California Childcare Providers United.

 

Khushi Desai is a student at UCLA majoring in Sociology with an intended minor in labor and education studies. She serves as an editor for the UCLA Undergraduate Research Journal for Humanities and Social Sciences and was involved with a research project for the Academic Advancement program. Khushi previously interned as a legal assistant at an immigration law firm.

Kya Chen is a transfer student at UC Berkeley majoring in Urban Studies. She is an undergraduate researcher with Youth & Allies Against Homelessness to address the needs of unhoused youth in Alameda County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kya organizes with the Los Angeles Tenants Union, which advocates for housing justice and tenant rights. She also runs @cruelarchitecture on Instagram.

Lilia Martinez is a senior at CSU Long Beach majoring in Sociology. She is a proud Latina from the heart of East Los Angeles, a daughter of immigrants, a student activist, and a Christian. Lilia is passionate about community involvement, equitable representation, and public policy. She interned at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor where she learned political and labor organizing skills, as well as the importance of being involved in the labor fight.

Lily Cane is a Masters in Public Policy student at UCLA. Previously, they worked for four years as an external organizer at SEIU 1021, supporting union efforts at colleges and universities, healthcare clinics, non-profits, and gig companies like Uber and Lyft. They began organizing as an undergrad at UCSB and their first experience was with student strikes while studying abroad in Chile. Lily enjoys cooking, doing crosswords, and running, and is slowly improving their clay-making skills.

Hailing from Kolkata, India, Mahi Lal is a senior at the College of Wooster, Ohio majoring in economics with a minor in mathematics. She has worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Wooster, Rights and Resources Initiative, and World Merit. On campus, she serves as a resident assistant, teaching apprentice, research assistant, and is the co-founding president of the Wooster Women and Gender Minorities in Economics Club.

Mckela Kanu is a senior at Hamilton College majoring in world politics. She has worked at the Central NY Labor Council as the policy director and recently interned at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. On campus, she is the communications coordinator for the Voices of Color Lecture Series, which brings speakers to highlight the experiences of marginalized voices. She is also part of the Feminists of Color Collective and the Black and Latinx Student Union.

Meagan Lord comes from Plain City in Utah, but has been away from the mountains for many years now. She is a recent graduate with a major in Labor Studies. She is passionate about research justice and giving working communities accessible information about themselves. She enjoys surveys and interviews and wants to continue researching and producing data and recommendations that can have positive impacts on her community.

Meghan Nguyen is a senior at UT Austin, studying sociology, journalism and Black studies with a certificate in human rights/social justice. She interned at the UT Center for Community Engagement and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Passionate about community organizing, activism, storytelling and social justice, Meghan envisions her academic and professional trajectory as a quest to understand, empower and uplift marginalized voices.

Mina Mohebbi is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in political science with an emphasis in American politics. Mina recently worked with Jobs with Justice in San Francisco, collecting data on the experience of Bay Area rideshare drivers to gain more insight into equitable policies for contingent workers. Mina also interned at Resistance Labs, which organized grassroots campaigns for progressive candidates. Mina enjoys hiking, being involved with their community, and making art.

Miranda Mosley is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in social welfare. At Cal, they worked in student government to reinstate affirmative action in California and as a director for GIA MAG, the campus’s QTPOC magazine. They’re passionate about serving youth in Oakland and Berkeley schools. Much of their research and volunteering have centered on the experiences of Black femmes in public schooling. They also enjoy playing with their cats or tending to their plants.

Hailing from Stockton, Morelia Chihuaque is a first-generation Latina senior at UC Berkeley majoring in political science with a minor in human rights. She has been involved with Latinx Caucus, Chicanx/Latinx Student Department, and the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative. She also interned for Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton. As a daughter of immigrants, one of her goals is to give back to her community, help uplift, and fight for the rights of marginalized communities.

Nathalie Guillen is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in legal studies with a minor in public policy. Born and raised in San Francisco to a single-parent household headed by her mother, an Indigenous Peruvian immigrant, Nathalie’s passion for social justice began at an early age. For the past few years, Nathalie has interned for San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen on projects and legislation that promote economic and racial equity. She is proud of her leadership roles in Brown Issues UC Berkeley Chapter and the Indigenous and Native Coalition Recruitment and Retention Center.

Ngoc Nguyen is a UCLA graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Asian American studies, sociology, and international development studies. As a student leader, Ngoc was involved in legal advocacy and community organizing to support communities of color, including creating the first conference that brought together 200 students across the country to advocate for the Southeast Asian community. Ngoc was also a Carter Huggins Community Development and Social Justice Scholar and UCLA Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Nyah Tisdell is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in society and environment with a minor in global poverty and practice. Last semester she was the Environmental Justice Department Executive in student government, where she organized panels and events that focused on closing the gap between people of color and the environmental justice movement. Nyah enjoys playing new songs on the guitar, watching movies, and spending time at the beach with friends.

Paola Chacon is a senior at San Francisco State University. During her time at SFSU, she has been a full-time worker, student, and peer-mentor for college-bound students. Paola believes her responsibility as a labor and employment studies major and peer mentor is to share her experiences and to protect her students from unethical employer’s practices. As she looks forward to this summer, she finds motivation in her past students. Paola is ready to share information and resources with others as she did then and into her career in labor organizing.

Patricia Haney is a graduate of DePaul University with bachelor’s degrees in writing & rhetoric and English creative writing. Patricia volunteered with UNITE HERE Local 1 to fight for COVID-specific protections and living wages for university dining workers in Chicago. This fall, Patricia will attend George Washington University for a master’s program in media & strategic communication. She is excited to blend rhetoric and creative storytelling with a career focused on workers’ rights and advocacy communication.

Rezahn Abraha is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in environmental science. She is passionate about both social and environmental justice. In the future, she hopes to use her growing interest and experience in geographic information systems (GIS) to work with organizations that combat inequality particularly in relation to labor and climate justice.

 

Originally from the East Bay, Ricardo Lombera is studying government and sociology at Connecticut College. He hopes to understand how United States labor laws and immigration policy overlap with one another, leading to inequalities for undocumented immigrants. Ricardo is the president of Connecticut College Law Society, an executive board member for the Men of Color Alliance, and a co-chair for the Connecticut College chapter of TEDx. He also enjoys dancing, painting, and listening to 90’s R&B.

Rosa M. Navarro is a first-generation college graduate and proud daughter of Mexican farmworkers. She is a former community organizer with over ten years of experience advancing immigrant rights and racial justice in the US, Mexico, Egypt, and Palestine. She is a PhD student in sociology at SUNY-Albany, where she intends to explore how racial policies shaped Mexican identity and erased indigenous Mexicans and Afro-Mexicans. She received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in history and her master’s degree in international human rights law from the American University in Cairo.

Russell Lee is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He grew up in South San Francisco and has actively been involved in local politics since high school. He was drawn to the Labor Summer program by the opportunity to build solidarity with working class folks and support their organizing efforts. He hopes to be able to learn as much as possible from this program and create enduring relationships.

Sophia Leswing is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and a minor in public policy. She became interested in the labor movement when she interned and later worked for the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Last year Sophia was a student researcher for the SEIU-USWW and recently interned at the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. For fun, she loves hiking the California coast, studying Berlin history, and going to live music events.

Stevie Campos-Seligman is a senior at UC Santa Cruz double majoring in Sociology and Feminist Studies. In their free time, Stevie loves spending time with their dog, having long discussions, playing music, and engaging in the local Bay Area DIY music scene. They are humbled and excited to be a part of Labor Summer this year!

 

Tina Givens is a master’s student in Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations Program. Her research focuses on the impact of data/surveillance technology on worker’s behavior and labor policies in a transnational context. Previously, Tina worked with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and co-founded the San Diego chapter of Rideshare Drivers United. Tina graduated from CSU San Marcos with a degree in communication and gender, women, and sexuality studies.