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Thousands gather in downtown Los Angeles rallying for workers rights and for immigration reform on May 2, 2013.

First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship (FirstGEN)


Video by summer 2014 FirstGEN fellows


First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship


The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers' Committee) launched the First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship (FirstGEN) program during the summer of 2013, to coincide with the Lawyers' Committee's fiftieth anniversary. Shortly after, the Washington, DC, office of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) agreed to become FirstGEN partnering organizations. Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) became the fourth FirstGEN partner organization in 2015.

FirstGEN is a ten-week summer program for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend an institution of higher education and who are passionate about pursuing careers in social justice. Fellows gain hands-on experience working on civil rights matters as full-time public policy and social justice interns, while also participating in a parallel training program. FirstGEN creates a greater community of advocates by linking emerging leaders with existing ones and by creating a FirstGEN alumni network. Each fellow receives a $1,500 stipend.

FirstGEN is a Lawyers' Committee, NILC, CLINIC, and AAJC collaborative program, with the Lawyers' Committee serving as program lead. Each organization will host two fellows during the summer of 2016, and all eight fellows will participate in a weekly advocacy training program.

The press release announcing the Lawyers' Committee, NILC and CLINIC FirstGEN partnership is available here, and a PDF version of FirstGEN's program overview is available here

For more information about FirstGEN Fellows, visit, follow FirstGEN on Twitter and Instagram, and like FirstGEN on Facebook.


To identify, support and advance emerging first generation social justice leaders.


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