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Thank you to Jean, Liz and Eliza!

September 25, 2013: Advocate. Litigator. Coalition builder. These are all roles the Public Justice Center plays as we work for justice. A less visible role is that of teacher and mentor. Each fall we welcome a new Murnaghan Fellow and full-time volunteers through Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Lutheran Volunteer Corps. And we say farewell to the previous year’s Fellow and Volunteers. As their year with us wrapped up, Jean, Liz, and Eliza shared reflections on how their time at the PJC has shaped their own commitments to work for justice.
Photo of Jean ZachariasiewiczJean Zachariasiewicz
As the 2012-2013 Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellow, Jean worked to improve civil rights and poverty law through the appellate courts. The rights of workers, renters, and prisoners were among the issues she addressed through briefs and direct representation. Upon conclusion of her fellowship, Jean shared the following with PJC staff:
“I can’t believe it’s time to say thank you for a great year! There isn’t a better group of people anyone could have to spend a year with, and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from all of you. The work you do would be inspiring no matter what, but the fact that you do it with a lean staff and limited budget is even more noteworthy. The reason it’s all possible is the dedication of each person here to proving that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I am honored to have been one of you, and you will remain exemplars for me as I continue to find my career path.” 
Jean is now a Litigation Associate at Relman, Dane & Colfax, a civil rights firm in Washington, D.C.
Photo of Liz Vanasdale
Liz Vanasdale
During her year at the PJC through Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Liz served as a Legal Assistant in the Human Right to Housing Project. Liz helped renters get legal advice or representation in court, whether they were facing eviction or foreclosure or fighting landlords who won’t repair unsafe homes. She also helped out during the Maryland legislative session, as the PJC and allies advocated for equitable housing policies. 
Reflecting on her year of service, Liz says, “I have learned to think about how other people think, where they have come from and, most importantly, not to judge,” she says. “I have learned to think critically about my surroundings, such as the poverty within the city, the social structures set up that perpetuate poverty, and especially the conditions (in which) many people live.” She will take this wisdom with her as she pursues a career in policy.
Liz’s year at the PJC was recently featured in the Le Moyne College alumni magazine. You can find her profile on page 23 of the magazine. 
Photo of Eliza McDermottEliza McDermott
Eliza served as the PJC’s Administrative and Development Assistant through Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Her reflection was included in the July 2013 newsletter.
Photographs courtesy of Jean Zachariasiewicz, Liz Vanasdale, and Eliza McDermott, respectively.

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