It was lovely to chat with Justice Professor Cherly Fairbanks last week on Expert Views on ADR (EVA) Vid /Podcast Show; she invited Michael Foster, EdD, MPH from California, who is learning about peacemaking and Ana Puente Flores– who shared great insights on peacemaking as it applies to immigrants and how this was the main method of settling disputes or conflicts before colonisation. Ana currently works as a Law Clerk for Cheryl Fairbanks.
Michael Foster, EdD, MPH (African American and Okinawan), has been a consultant for Life Comes From It since September 2022. Michael is the owner and chief evaluator for EPIC Services (Evaluation for Program Improvement Consulting Services), which consists of a team of doctoral-level BIPOC professionals in a variety of fields, including education, political science, and pueblo studies. Established in 2002, EPIC Services provides documentation, evaluation, facilitation, strategic planning, capacity building and technical assistance to nonprofit organisations, primarily focusing on BIPOC communities. Since 2022, Michael has provided an array of services to Life Comes From It and its grantees, including community building/movement mobilisation and capacity building/technical assistance.
Michael earned his Doctor of Education Degree (EdD) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Administration, Planning and Social Policy program and his Master’s of Public Health (MPH) as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California San Francisco.
Ana Puente Flores is from Mexico City. She came to NY in 2015 for her undergraduate studies at the City College of New York. She was a Skadden Arps Legal Honors Program fellow and a Beyond Identity scholar-activist there. Involved in the migrant justice movement in the courts and at school, she led initiatives in the Dream Team at CCNY. As Institutional Development and Research Director at the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), she researched femicide in Mexico City and gender violence in post-war contexts in Southeast Asia. She helped build and found the program Beyond Identity: A Political Platform for Scholar-Activists.
In the summer of 2018–during the beginning of the family separation policy–she was a legal intern at the Dilley Pro Bono Project. There, she prepared detained families seeking asylum for their credible-fear interviews. As a paralegal at KIND NY’s Detained Team, she created the first culturally relevant Know-Your-Rights training for tender-age children. She is currently a 2L at CUNY School of Law. With a fellowship from the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice, she worked for the organisation Lakota Peoples Law Project. She helped write an amicus brief in support of ICWA for the case Brackeen v. Haaland in the Supreme Court. This summer, she is a Law Clerk for Justice Cheryl Fairbanks of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.
Her experience working in detention centres has given her the tools to conduct narrative practice workshops with immigrant youth in detention. In organising work, she seeks to open up a path for alternative spaces of care, mutual aid, collective storytelling, and cultural revival. Her political energy is geared toward migrant and indigenous folks fighting and thriving for the land, waters, and seeds. She seeks to reweave the present human dynamics towards sustainability, memory, collectivity, and balance through this work.
This episode is a must-watch! Stay Tuned.
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