FALL 2021 DEMOCRACY FELLOWS
Aaron Posner is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. He is a passionate advocate in issues around incarceration and immigration, and is a strong proponent of the power of organizing. Among other community organizing efforts, Aaron is the Direct Action Chair of Wagner's Students for Criminal Justice Reform. He holds a BA in English, specifically Contemporary Jewish Literature, from Reed College.
As a LEAD Fellow, Aaron is working with Public Citizen.
Alexa Berry is an MPA candidate specializing in Advocacy and Political Action at NYU Wagner. Prior to Wagner, she created and managed events for international students at an international education nonprofit.
As a LEAD Fellow, Alexa is working with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Ama Sarpomaa is a rising junior at Gallatin studying politics and media with a focus on migration, displacement and African Development with a minor in Peace and conflict studies. Previously, she worked as a campaign fellow in a New York City council race, where she served as an advocate for the community. Her passion for the implementation of just immigration policies has inspired her work at African Communities Together as a Gallatin Global Fellow in Urban Practice.
As a LEAD Fellow, Ama is working with Detroit Action.
Amanda McBain is a junior majoring in Politics and minoring in History at the College of Arts & Science. Amanda currently serves as an Executive Editor at the Undergraduate Law Review at NYU, a student-led journal centered on legal-related scholarship. In addition, she contributes to improving voter education and voting rights as a leadership team member at GenVote @ NYU, a student-led voting rights organization, and a digital poll monitor with Common Cause NY. She has previously interned at the Office of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Upon graduation, Amanda plans to attend law school and contribute further to voting reform.
As a LEAD Fellow, Amanda is working with Headcount.
Eliza McCurdy is going into her 2nd year at Wagner with an Advocacy specialization. Her big passion is criminal justice reform, a field in which she has been working for the past five years. In college, she was lucky to intern with JustLeadershipUSA on the #CLOSERikers Campaign and with The Sentencing Project in Washington, D.C. to address life without parole policies in the US. For the last three years, she has been working full time on Rikers Island with the Osborne Association providing reentry services and life skills classes to the men incarcerated there.
As a LEAD Fellow, Eliza is working with Bronx Defenders.
Kartika Fuentes is a Bronx native and is passionate about replacing oppressive institutions with life-affirming structures in vulnerable communities. She completed her undergraduate studies in Ecuador and returned to give back to her community at South Bronx United, a youth development organization, as an AmeriCorpsVISTA supported by the New York Immigration Coalition. Kartika completed an internship with New York’s 14th Congressional District and absorbed Team AOC’s amazing work in the district. She is also a proud David Bohnett Public Service Fellow which has helped her attend New York University and pursue an MPA specializing in advocacy and political action.
As a LEAD Fellow, Kartika is working with Mi Familia Vota.
Rachel Carter is a senior at NYU, studying Politics with a minor in Economics. She is passionate about women’s rights, voting rights, and affordable housing. She has previously worked for the Democratic National Committee and The Blue Lab, developing expertise in digital organizing and campaigns.
As a LEAD Fellow, Rachel is working with Public Citizen.
Sophie Kies is a recent graduate of New York University’s School of Global Liberal Studies with a major in Politics, Rights, and Development, and minors in Public Policy, History, and Politics. Her senior thesis,“Suppressing the Vote, Finding Solutions: How Milwaukee Disenfranchises the Black Community,” focused on examining and combating the issues surrounding voting rights that plague her hometown. She has interned with organizations such as Democrats for Education Reform and the Office of Governor Tony Evers, State of Wisconsin.
As a LEAD Fellow, Sophie is working with March on Harrisburg.
Anna Harris is a MSPP candidate at NYU Wagner, interested in local government and policy analysis. Prior to Wagner, she worked for a community nonprofit providing federal program assistance to low-income populations. Later, she worked for a large asset management firm. Her experience also includes operations support for a university development office and volunteering as an election official during the 2020 election cycle. She holds a BA from Lafayette College and a certificate in data analytics from the University of Chicago – Graham School.
As a Parke Fellow, Anna is working with the Brennan Center’s Redistricting Program.
Zoe Merriman is an MPA-PNP student at NYU Wagner, specializing in Public Policy Analysis and planning to concentrate on Environmental Policy and Justice. Prior to Wagner, Zoe held a two year dual internship with an organization named The Sustainability Institute, where she was responsible for co-organizing a multidisciplinary sustainability symposium and co-wrote an educational Climate Change based workbook. Zoe is a dedicated activist and has spent many hours advocating for the BIPOC community on campus and helping students register to vote. She received her BS from The Pennsylvania State University and minored in Political Science and Government.
As a Parke Fellow, Zoe is working with the Brennan Center's Voting Rights Program.
Antara Nader is an MPA candidate NYU Wagner specializing in Public Policy. She has worked for many years in criminal justice advocacy, most recently at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Center for Court Innovation, and has been a longtime volunteer with the Parole Preparation Project. She received her BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and is originally from Massachusetts.
As a Parke Fellow she will be working with the Brennan Center's Justice Program.