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Honoring Judge Robert L. Carter (Blog)
Honoring Justice (Blog)
Judge Robert L. Carter Bio (PDF)
The Robert L. Carter Fellowship (PDF)

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The Robert L. Carter Fellowship is a two-year fellowship designed for recent law graduates and more experienced attorneys interested in incorporating framing and messaging strategies into policy research and advocacy efforts.

The position is named in honor of Judge Robert L. Carter, an acclaimed federal jurist of the Southern District of New York. Judge Carter was the primary architect of the innovative strategy in Brown v. Board of Education that used social scientists to track and reveal the negative effects of school segregation upon African-American children. On January 3, 2012, Judge Carter passed away at age 94.

In light of Judge Carter’s civil rights legacy, the Fellowship is designed to pursue innovative strategies at the intersection of the law and social science policy research to expand opportunity in the United States. Activities include research and writing of legal and policy briefs; creating framing and messaging strategies and tools in support of policy efforts or campaigns; and collaboration and coalition-building with local and national social justice partners.

The Carter Fellow is directly supervised by the Director of Law and Advocacy, Juhu Thukral and is based in The Opportunity Agenda's New York City office. The Carter Fellowship is supported through the generous contributions of individuals, former Carter clerks, and law firms. If you are interested in supporting this position, please click here.

The inaugural Carter Fellow was Kevin Shawn Hsu (2007-2009), followed by Nerissa Kunakemakorn (2009-2011). The current Carter Fellow is Diego Iñiguez-Lopez (2013-2015).

Carter Fellowship Accomplishments:
Since 2007, the Carter Fellow has focused on expanding opportunity by: centering equity in ongoing state and national efforts to reform America’s health system; and developing substantive and detailed policy suggestions in national and local efforts to affirmatively further the goal of fair housing.

In the coming years, the Fellow will be working on policy and communications strategies particularly related to immigrant due process issues. All Carter Fellows have, and will continue to, participate in The Opportunity Agenda’s efforts to further the national discussion of policy through the lens of the progressive value of opportunity.

Activities and accomplishments of Carter Fellows over the years have included:

  • Working with the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that billions in Recovery Act investments reached needy communities on an equal opportunity basis.
  • Co-authoring a report with the American Civil Liberties Union titled, "Promoting Opportunity and Equality in America: A Guide to Federal Circuit Authority on Permissible Government Actions to Promote Racial and Gender Equality," which discusses the law within each judicial circuit of the United States for governmental entities who are attempting to remedy discrimination by using racial or gender classifications in the allocation of government contracts.
  • Moving the Department of Housing and Urban Development towards a policy of affirmatively furthering fair housing.
  • Pushing the New York City Council to be a powerful voice for real solutions to our broken immigration system that uphold our nation’s values and move us forward together.
  • Partnering with grassroots leaders in the South to oppose a wave of draconian racial profiling laws and challenges to the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause.
  • As a member of the New York State Working Group Against Deportation, helping to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo to suspend the controversial Secure Communities’ program amid concerns that the program undermines law enforcement efforts and encourages racial profiling.
  • Contribution to a series of groundbreaking pro-immigrant policies in California this year, expanding college access and economic opportunity for students, families, and workers.
  • Addressing the disparate impact of foreclosures on communities of color and, consistent with our organization's approach, our Fellow is not only opposing harmful proposals, but promoting positive pragmatic solutions and building public support for their adoption.

Applying for the Carter Fellowship:
We're not accepting current applications. Please check back for future information.