Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nomonde Nyembe and Cherith Sanger are first fellows in UCLA Law–Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship Program

The new UCLA Law–Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship program was created to train lawyers from top South African law schools for careers in public interest. Nomonde Nyembe and Cherith Sanger, two lawyers from South Africa who came to UCLA this past fall, are the first fellows in the program. The fellowship’s focus on health, HIV prevention, gender equality, and human rights is timely, as in 2007 South Africa had the highest number of people living with HIV in the world, as well as one of the highest levels of domestic violence and rape. Both Nyembe and Sanger are committed to pursuing social change in their home country: upon completing their UCLA degrees, they are required by the program to work with the Sonke Gender Justice Network in South Africa for at least one year.

Nomonde Nyembe
Nyembe received her LL.B. from the University of Witwatersrand in 2007, and completed her articles of clerkship in 2009. She took a clerkship at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 2010, after which she became a Research and Teaching Associate at the University of Witwatersrand in the Oliver Schreiner School of Law. Her work there included developing her teaching skills and researching constitutional rights issues. Nyembe’s long-term goal is to lecture on human rights and constitutional law at a South African university, specializing in public interest litigation on gender and health.

Cherith Sanger
Sanger brings six years of legal experience to the UCLA fellowship, including work on domestic violence and hate crimes against lesbians and bisexual women. She earned her LL.B. from the University of the Western Cape in 2004. She completed her articles of clerkship in 2006, practicing in litigation and becoming involved in public interest legal work. Sanger joined the Women’s Legal Centre in 2007, specializing in litigation and advocacy for gender-based violence. She has worked with clients in sexual and domestic violence, hate crimes, and unfair discrimination.

As part of the fellowship, UCLA provides a full-tuition grant to enroll in its Law’s Master of Laws program. The Ford Foundation also contributes, covering the fellows’ living and traveling expenses while they are in the program.

--Josh Olejarz, Editorial Associate

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