Young Religious Leaders Fellows
The fellowship is open to all students from high school age through graduate level study, and to non-students wanting to learn! Other desirable applicants include students, pastoral staff and lay leaders who are interested in faith-rooted community organizing.
The fellowship emphasizes team-work, deep training, shadowing, hands on practical work, developing strong relationships with local religious communities and work leaders, and a thirst to change the world. The internship is demanding, fun, dynamic, high energy, creative, and exciting. It is life changing. Be prepared for all of the above.
Our 2013 Fellows:
Jeremy “JJ” Arnold:
Jeremy was born and raised on the south side of Santa Monica. Formative experiences in his life include his father’s passing at a very young age and his community’s subsequent support, summers spent at Unitarian Universalist sleep away camp and Sierra Service Project Honduras, as well as a tumultuous high school career ending successfully at New Roads School, from which he graduated June 2nd. He is an incoming freshman at Tulane University and a proud member of the UU Community Church of Santa Monica along with his mother Abby and older brother Kevin.
Kyra Brown is a native of East Palo Alto, California and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Social Justice from Howard University. This past year, she served as her graduate school’s Student Body Vice-President and planned events such as creative arts and inter-faith worship services. At the latter gathering, she led a vigil to commemorate the tragic August 5, 2012, Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre. Kyra is a product of four Christian denominations (AME, Baptist, Pentecostal, Non-denominational) heavily populated by African-Americans. However, she is considering ordination in the Baptist tradition. One of her favorite Bible verses is Amos 5:24: “Let justice roll down like the waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Her ultimate goal is to work with the oppressed, and advocate for community-restoring justice and equality in both ecclesiastical and political realms.
Christopher recently completed his BA in Education and is now currently attending Claremont Lincoln for an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies looking at the intersection of Religion and Politics in social movements. He previously worked with Greenpeace for their global warming campaign and other issues around environmental justice. He was also a hotel front desk worker and a member of UNITE HERE Local 2 in the Bay Area. He was also an assistant organizer for CLUE-LA’s successful Pomona food service campaign. At Claremont Lincoln he is an assistant at their Global Peacebuilding Center and leads their Seminarians for Social Justice student group. Christopher understands economic justice and his work at CLUE LA as integral to understanding his faith in praxis.
Enedina is a first generation Mexican-American who has always had a passion for learning about her roots and the struggles that people surrounding her go through. She was born and raised in a low-income community known as Richmond, CA located in the Bay Area. During high school she began noticing the inequalities and limited resources her community had compared to the cities surrounding hers and decided to be more involved. She started by joining in the youth group at her local Catholic church then attending council meetings and organizing students to attend DREAM Act and budget cuts on education protest. Enedina will now be a senior at Whittier College this up coming Fall of 2013 where she designed her own major and named it Latinos and Inequality Studies. Through this fellowship Enedina wishes to enhance her leadership, communication and organizing skills so that she can one day return to Richmond, CA and encourage the residents to speak up and work together to improve their community.
My name is Vincent Manalo. From central Los Angeles, born and bred. Both my parents are Filipino, making me Filipino-American, part of my identity I would not trade for anything. I went to John Marshall High School and currently attending Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania via the Posse Foundation. Also via the Posse Foundation I heard many things about CLUE and eventually got involved. CLUE specifically caught my attention because of the same belief we seemed to share, that our communities demand for change transcends any divisive lines from our diverse beliefs. I enjoy playing basketball. I love Hip-Hop and Reggae music. I have served as a deputy Secretary General in the Los Angeles community organization Pro-People Youth which has provided an immeasurable amount of knowledge of my heritage and grassroots community organizing. Organizing with KmB (Pro-People Youth) has taught me to serve the people, because you love the people. I hope and am quite certain that among so many valuable things to learn such as communication, utilizing resources to its maximum efficiency, that this fellowship with CLUE will expand the ways in which I can serve the people.
Francisco Rios has greatly enjoyed living in Los Angeles for the past three years as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. He has organized alongside low-wage workers on his campus and in solidarity with those abroad during his time here. He identifies as a working-class person of color and, as such, seeks out any opportunity to positively impact people in these and other marginalized groups. Additionally, he looks forward to working with CLUE-LA in order to discover faith-rooted organizing, and learn more about the different faith communities represented in LA. He hopes to learn how build an inclusive and sustainable movement for social justice: one that is made up of a diverse, interfaith community and one in which people are given the tools to discover a greater meaning in their work and, as a result, a greater significance in their life. He enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time outdoors.
My name is Jeremie Robins, and I am a rising junior at Pomona College, where I am studying International Relations. In my walk of faith, coming from a meld of Protestant Christian traditions, I have felt God calling me to better live out my calling to serve and work alongside the communities I touch. Through my partnership with Pomona dining hall workers in their struggle to improve working conditions and win recognition as a union, I have witnessed daily realities of pain and injustice more clearly than ever before. More importantly, I have had the joy of seeing solidarity among students, faculty, clergy, and workers from an incredible diversity of faith and social backgrounds address this injustice to create a better community. This summer, I look forward to delving into more of this kind of solidarity work with the guidance and support of trained CLUE organizers as well as fellow interns, and thereby learning how I can better live out my faith and human callings to fight for a better world.
I am an undergraduate student at Loyola Marymount University. I will be graduating in the spring of 2014 with a degree in Urban Studies. As a resident of South Central Los Angeles and having a father who experienced homelessness and poverty in this city, I am acutely aware of the importance of community development and organization. In my neighborhood, many residents turn to crime as a means of survival and end up on the wrong side of law with high numbers entering prison. This has motivated me to become involved in work surrounding homelessness, law, and prison incarceration. At LMU, I have had the opportunity to be exposed to many outlets of service that works towards social justice. This summer I co-led a 10 day trip up the California coast to visit a number of prisons, correctional facilities, and advocacy groups. I’m glad to be working with CLUE LA because I want to stand in solidarity with those who are underrepresented, so that they may find faith in something greater than the struggles they face.
My name is Caleb Ulrich, I have lived in Southern California my entire life. I will graduate this upcoming fall with my bachelor’s degree in religion from the University of La Verne; I plan on attending graduate school and possibly focusing on Mediterranean Religions. I was the founding president of ULV’s Hillel and I currently serve as co-president of the Interfaith Student Council. While I do not consider myself religious, religion is certainly significant in my life: I aim to better understand those around me through learning of their worldviews and becoming familiar with all that is held sacred. Other than studying religion, I enjoy crafting and crocheting for others: both allow me to connect with those around me in meaningful ways that transcend spoken word. I have volunteered in the past with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Bubel-Aiken Foundation. I look forward to gaining new skills with CLUE this summer that I can use to aid others throughout my life.