Inaugural Class of Fellows includes powerful and diverse voices of rural women leaders

As a part of its civic engagement initiative, Justice for Migrant Women created a rural women’s fellowship to ensure that rural America and rural women are accurately portrayed and represented in politics, as well as by political leaders. In October 2020, Rural Women’s Collective Fellowship Program was created to bring together powerful voices and compelling ideas to represent rural women and girls across the United States with a focus on elevating the leadership of women of color and other underrepresented community members. 

The fellowship is meant to benefit participation in their current work and over the course of their careers. It will provide foundational skills to participants that will benefit Fellows for the long term. Fellows are fully scholarshipped for a series of educational training and skill sessions driven by communications and storytelling leaders. 

Gender-based violence, discrimination, a lack of adequate legal protections, and underrepresentation in political and other leadership positions have all contributed to holding migrant women back, as well as denying them many of their civil and human rights.  Justice for Migrant Women is committed to protecting the rights of migrant women, no matter where they come from, how they migrated, or where they work. It is also dedicated to increasing the overall power and lifting the voices of migrant and other rural women to meaningfully improve their living and working conditions.


The 2020-21 Inaugural Class of Fellows includes: 

  • Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Highlander Research and Education Center
  • Cristina Hernandez Vaught, Hometown Bank of Alabama
  • Andrea Duarte Alonso, Lead for America/Southwest Initiative Foundation/Immigrant Law Center
  • Jessica Helen Lopez, NACA Inspired Schools Network
  • Martha Sonato, PCUN (Oregon Farmworker Union) 


The Fellows will be publishing op-eds on topics that impact rural communities, centering the voices of women. The RWC Fellowship class will end in March 2021.

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