Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Women’s History Month at Advancing Justice-LA: Jessica Castellanos

Thursday, March 15th 2018
Jessica Castellanos 
Jessica is a staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. Her full bio is found here
How did you first get started working in this field?  
As a law student, I took several courses regarding refugee and human rights and also worked with various nonprofits who serve immigrant communities. Following law school, I completed a fellowship in Ecuador advocating for recognition of gender-based asylum. After my fellowship, I worked in immigration detention centers in Arizona with the Florence Project. Serving immigrant communities, especially in the detained context, is extremely difficult but compelling work. Everyone deserves due process and access to an attorney, especially when their liberty is at stake. 
What woman inspires you and why? 
(Other than all the women in my family) I am inspired by Roxane Gay. She is an author who provides a crucial and fearless voice on issues of race, sexual identity, gender identity, and sexual assault. 
What does it mean to be a woman in social justice?
Being a woman in social justice means dedicating yourself to being of service to others and trying to make a positive impact in some way. 
What’s the best and worst decision you’ve ever made? 
Going to law school and going to law school. :)
Why is it important to have women in leadership roles? 
Having women in leadership roles is essential to the advancement of women's rights. 

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Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.