Don Arrington graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge in 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema and Television Arts. He comes to law school with a background in community organizing, having worked to address various social issues including access to housing, food equity, prisoner support, income inequality, and systemic racism. Before coming to Temple, he worked as a tutor and mentor assisting first-generation students with navigating the college admissions process through Upward Bound. Don is interested in impact and appellate litigation around civil and human rights issues, indigent defense, and dismantling the carceral state.
Joan Fernandez graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in History and a Certificate in the Program of Latin American Studies. He has always taken a lead, much in the way he did by circumstance growing up as a first-generation Dominican immigrant from a low-income background in New York City, in his clients’ legal battles. After college, Joan served as a Community Fellow with the Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), a program created by the late Honorable Robert Katzmann, Former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to recruit, train, and populate the immigration field with the highest quality legal advocates. During his IJC fellowship, Joan provided consultations, case and hearing preparation, translation and interpretation services, helped organize and participated in pro se legal clinics, liaised with other nonprofits and large law firms for pro bono case referrals, among other activities aiding in the representation of unaccompanied children on Long Island. He helped spearhead IJC’s expansion into a region with one of the largest numbers of unaccompanied children resettlement nationwide and a corresponding unmet need for legal services. Joan then served as a U.S. Department of Justice Accredited Representative with Central American Legal Assistance (CALA), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization that provides low-cost and free legal services to asylum seekers in removal proceedings. As an accredited representative, Joan helped hundreds of asylees apply for permanent residence and reunite with their loved ones after forced separation. In the process, he helped clients save approximately $500,000 in often-prohibitively expensive immigration filing fees through fee waivers. He also represented asylum seekers before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the New York City Immigration Courts. Joan hopes to sharpen the tools with which he and his clients have faced the legal system, and to expand his areas of advocacy experience.
Alyssa Kennedy graduated Magna Cum Laude as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania in December 2016 with a B.A. in Health & Societies with a concentration in Health Policy & Law and double minor in Economic Policy and American Public Policy. In January 2017, she was submatriculant of Penn’s Pearlman School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program. While pursuing her MPH, she worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the Infectious Disease Department managing the HIV Outpatient and Ryan White program. In this position, she administered and assured compliance with the federal Ryan White Program, including quality improvement and access assessments. She also developed solutions to improve patient and clinical staff education and trainings to support optimal outcomes in light of patients’ care coverage and support systems. Consequently, she expanded her role and contributions to the HIV outpatient services by driving enhancements that include administering and managing HIV-prevention programs for patients and their partners beyond the department and across the Jefferson enterprise. Additionally, she advocated for changes to treatment algorithms to include considerations of patient’s social and economic factors. She also continues to engage with the Philadelphia community through extensive volunteer work with public health-oriented non-profit and mutual aid organizations. Through these experiences, Alyssa learned about the failures of existing social and legislative policies. These are not theoretical or academic learnings, but tangible, often stark realizations about the desperate need for focused and informed public and private solutions necessary to achieve health equity and restorative justice. Upon graduating from Temple, she is excited to apply her new legal skills championing and advocating for equitable public health policy.
Woayorm Kumazah is a Ghanaian American from Gaithersburg, Maryland. She received her BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Temple University in 2020. During her undergraduate career, her love for the Spanish language led her to a semester-long cultural and language immersion program in Oviedo, Spain. She also participated in the Semester Immersion Program (SIP), where she studied about the immigration and refugee crisis at the U.S./Mexico border. During this program Woayorm was able to hear from immigrants in the system and see firsthand the unfair procedures of immigration court in El Paso, Texas.
Through her own decade-long road to citizenship and from witnessing the difficulties of immigrant families across the country, Woayorm developed an interest dismantling the barriers put in place against immigrants and refugees. Watching the daily injustices against people who look like her inspired her interest in civil rights as well. She has always been an advocate for black people and wants to give them a voice not only in the justice system, but in education, business, government, and all aspects of society. Woayorm is eager to use her legal education to further the lives of immigrants and black communities.