Megan Majd - International Human Rights and Environmental Policy
After finishing her thesis on indigenous rights in a comparative context in 2014, Megan began as a John Gardner Fellow. Each year a total of six Fellows are selected, three from UC Berkeley and three from Stanford University. Megans internship goal was to change the culture around how people see issues related to environmental justice, by finding innovative ways to educate people and to change the systems that perpetuate problems associated with environmental justice through systematic policy change.
Currently, Megan is working with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She splits her time between the Energy and Transportation program where she builds support around the Clean Power Plan and the International program where she works on climate change policy. Megan writes: My dedication to public service has allowed me to empower others, to become a bridge between students and bureaucracy, between victims and justice.
Megan spent three months in 2013 in Biolley, Costa Rica studying human rights focused on gender and conservation issues at the local level. She lived with a group of women whose lives were focused on empowering women running a coffee plantation and protecting the national park they bordered. Megan is also currently the curator of a website aimed at creating a comprehensive list of resources for survivors of sexual assault at UC Berkeley.
Megan started volunteering for CALPIRG during her first semester at UC Berkeley, which launched her passion in environmental justice, the intersection between the deterioration of the environment and the welfare of people. Megan worked on an environmental justice campaign when she first joined CALPIRG, focused on passing legislation that would reduce air pollution at the Port of Oakland. Soon, Megan was organizing a new campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in Alameda County. Through these experiences, she realized the importance of utilizing a global vision of environmental justice on a local scale to create local solutions to global, systemic problems.
In her junior year, Megan was elected as a senator to the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). She represented 37,000 students and managed a Senate Contingency Fund of $24,000. As an ASUC Senator, Megan helped form campus policy through negotiations with administrators, the ASUC senate, and the student body, including co-authoring a bill to reform UC Berkeleys sexual assault policies.