2020 Fellows

Chris Clay

Chris Clay

Chris Clay (he/him/his) is from Tacoma, WA and attended Franklin Pierce High School.
Currently, he’s an upcoming Junior at Whitworth University and is also an Act Six Recipient for
Whitworth Cadre 16. He is double majoring in Community Health with an emphasis on
mental/emotional health, and Spanish on the literature track. He minors in Sociology too. At
Whitworth, he’s heavily engaged. He did student government, and participates in several clubs
such as the schools Black Student Union and Latinx Club. Chris has experience with political
engagement through working with the Washington State Labor Council in the summer of 2018,
and actually worked with the Bus during one of their events. He hopes to become more aware
of how to help all communities in an attempt to be inclusive towards everyone! He’s done
volunteer work like working with undocumented families, translating, and his favorite, working
with at-risk youth and helping them seek higher-education or other options after high school. He
hopes to come back to Tacoma and create a curriculum that highlights the importance of
emotional and mental expressiveness, especially with young men of color!

Fatima Jamal

Fatima Jamal

My name is Fatima Jamal (she/her/hers). I am a junior at UW Bothell. I hope to be able to stand up for injustice and make sure POC are represented and heard in our community this summer. I am majoring in MIS & Management with a minor in Health Studies & IT. I worked as an A.C.T lead planning events focus around social justice on our campus, which allowed me to be able to understand how to use my voice to stand up for others around me. I enjoy painting and reading poetry. I love cooking/baking in my free time.

Gloria Gonzalez-Zapata

Gloria Gonzalez-Zapata

Gloria Gonzalez-Zapata (She,her) was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington Bothell in Summer of 2019 and double majored in Law, Economics, & Public Policy and Gender, Women, & Sexuality studies. As a student Gloria co-founded Her Campus UWB and Womxn of Color Healing Circle UWB, the only two collectives that were centered around empowering college women on the University of Washington Bothell campus. She is now a co-organizer for Veggie Mijas Seattle chapter, a national womxn and non-binary people of color collective, who highlight the importance of a plant-based lifestyle while intersecting race, gender, identity, class and sexuality. As a fellow, Gloria is excited to learn from community activists and participate in local campaigns, she hopes to use what she learns to mobilize, empower, and amplify the needs of her community.

JaNaya Hall

JaNaya Hall

My name is JaNaya Hall (she/her). I’m an 18-year old. I graduated from Garfield high school in 2k19. I like poetry/writing and singing. I wanted to do this fellowship because I never felt I like I saw my full identity; being a woman, disabled and black, getting represented in politics and the more I realized that the more I became separated from politics. As I got deeper in my organizing with YUIR (Youth Undoing Institutional Racism), I realized how politics could be a positive thing. This summer, I’m looking forward to working with new people and working with people in general.

Joanna Pelayo

Joanna Pelayo

My name is Joanna Pelayo (she/her/hers). I am a first-generation Latina and currently attend the University of Washington Seattle and am a sophomore majoring in Sociology with a minor in political science. I am interested in immigrant rights as it hits home for me along with racial justice and equity. I was raised in Southern California and my family and I relocated to Washington state during my freshman year of high school which is when I first became interested in dissecting the intersectionality of privilege and oppression. I love talking to people, fashion, and have an adorable cat. I am excited to learn about activism and the various ways I can create change in my community.

Lupita Corona

Lupita Corona

Lupita Corona (she/her/hers) is a first-generation Mexican-American who is graduating with her associate’s degree in biology in the summer of 2020. She is attending the Lake Washington Institute of Technology where she has served as the Records Officer in the Associated Student Government. She will be attending the University of Washington – Tacoma in the fall of 2020 where she will be majoring in Law and Policy as well as Spanish and Culture. Lupita’s journey into politics started when she was a Youth Ocean Advocate at the Seattle Aquarium. She originally joined because of her obsession with marine biology; but through that, she learned her more compelling interest was informing people about climate justice. After volunteering with El Centro de la Raza she found her true passion, helping her Latinx community get connected to politics. At the bus, Lupita is excited to learn more about social engagement using digital platforms and meeting passionate new people who share similar interests in social justice.

Megan Thao

Megan Thao

Hello! My name is Megan and I use she/her pronouns. I am currently a third year at the University of Washington and I am studying Early Childhood and Family Studies. I am a huge advocate for volunteering in your community. Pre-corona, I volunteered twice a week at a preschool as well as at a food bank near campus. I enjoy being outside whether it be hiking or even just having a nice picnic. I also love being creative through painting or dancing even though I am in no way a pro. Learning to salsa dance is definitely on the top of my list of things to do. This summer, I really hope to become educated on how to truly implement change to make a difference in my community, small or big. Lastly, a little fun fact about me is that I have a baby teddy bear hamster and her name is Basil!

Michael Ninen

Michael Ninen

Michael Ninen (He/Him/His) is a first generation college student at Seattle University. He will be finishing his degree in International Studies and Spanish, with a minor in Latin American Studies in June of 2020. Originally, Michael is from Portland, Oregon. Through this fellowship, Michael would like to learn more about local politics and community organizing. He would like to explore strategies to enact change in a local context. Through his education, Michael became deeply interested in the rights of women, indigenous, and marginalized groups; and how those identities intersect and compound. In his free time, Michael has participated on his college’s Leadership Committee for Intersectionality and Justice to change the culture of the University. When he isn’t in an academic context, Michael watches movies, plays video games, and loves to travel.

Mina Zavary

Mina Zavary

Mina Zavary (she/her) is an Interlake High School and Bellevue College graduate with a long history of activism and community organization. She is planning on attending the honors program at the University of Washington this fall to study Engineering. Mina founded a student-led gender-based violence organization, GOVAA, which she has been developing and expanding for the past four years. She is excited to branch out from the activism she is used to. During the fellowship, she hopes to bond with her peers and mentors as well as do some amazing work with them! In her free time, she enjoys performing slam poetry, reading through her book collection, and vibing with her infamous cat. 

Mumina Ali

Mumina Ali

Mumina Ali (she/her/hers) is a Bangladeshi-American student from Renton, Washington. She’s a rising junior at the University of Washington, Bothell where she’s double majoring in Law, Economics and Public Policy and Global Studies with a minor in Human Rights. On campus she’s a core member of the UWB Womxn of Color Healing Circle, a group that focuses on mental health and healing from intergenerational trauma through sisterhood and storytelling. As a member of the South Asian diaspora and the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, this work is especially important to her. Off-campus, Mumina works with OneAmerica—an immigrant rights organization in Washington state—to help build power in immigrant communities. Mumina decided to go into political and community organizing after the Muslim ban brought substantial hurt and outrage to her community for the first time since 9/11. At the Bus, she’s excited to learn how she can be a better advocate, use her privilege, and uplift disenfranchised voices to push for system change through the 2020 election and beyond. In her free time, Mumina likes baking and listening to fiction podcasts (often at the same time).

Rachel Izuagbe

Rachel Izuagbe

My name is Rachel Izuagbe (she/her/hers). I am studying Public Health at the University of Washington to learn about the health disparities that impact low income and communities of color. I am very passionate about social justice. My parents are both from Nigeria and immigrated to the US. They taught me that education was the most important aspect of my life, so I have always taken it very seriously. When I got to UW, I realized how influential my supporters were in my academic success, so I decided that I wanted to become a mentor. Mentoring has shown me that education empowers the youth and will help them overcome obstacles that historically disadvantage communities. I also am very passionate about public health because I believe that there are many factors that impact health that are traditionally overlooked. After college, I would like to work within public health and advocate for policy that would create a more equitable health care system. Fun fact: I can (kind of) do the worm!

Rachel Smithers

Rachel Smithers

Rachel Smithers (she/her) will be a senior at the University of Washington this fall where she plans to graduate with a double major in political science and education, communities, and organizations. She enjoys painting, music, sunshine, and is an avid TV-watcher. She discovered her passion for politics, educational equity, and advocacy in high school after attending a Washington State program designed for mock government and mock trial participation. Throughout her various experiences, she has cultivated a commitment to intentional activism and intersectional justice for diverse identities. At the Bus, she is excited to learn from everyone to develop equitable practices for working with communities that center their knowledge, needs, and voices to create social change.

Stephanie Chavez

Stephanie Chavez

Stephanie Chavez (She/Her/Hers) is a first generation Chicana/Mexicana-American and recent first generation graduate from the University of Washington, class of 2020. She double majored in Law, Societies, and Justice and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and minored in Human Rights. Stephanie was born and raised in Arizona but moved to Washington about 6 years ago. While she has always had a passion for social and racial justice, she just recently became involved in both organizing and political work. In the future, Stephanie hopes to attend law school in order to dedicate her life towards immigrant rights work and BIPOC activism. At the Bus, she hopes to obtain as much knowledge in grassroots organizing/activism and is excited to meet new people!

Zawadi Chege

Zawadi Chege

Zawadi Chege (she/her) was born in Nairobi, Kenya but grew up in the U.S. from the early age of 1. She is an undocumented 20 year old who is graduating with her general associate’s degree from Tacoma Community College in June of 2020 and looks forward to transferring to study film. She hopes to learn more about local politics and becoming a better leader within this space. Whilst her passion for film and television will always be a driving force for her, she also holds organizing and activism close to her heart. She strives to connect the two in her future projects. When Zawadi is not binge watching a new series, she is probably dancing by herself to early 2000’s music

Zubin Abraham-Ahmed

Zubin Abraham-Ahmed

Zubin Abraham-Ahmed (he/him/his) is an activist, poet, and a rising junior political science student at Morehouse College. Growing up in Seattle’s Central District and Rainier Valley, Zubin was raised in a diverse environment that kept him perceptive of oppression to all peoples. Steeped in activism his entire life, Zubin has been protesting and fighting for justice since he was in diapers. Always grateful to the community he was raised in, he constantly volunteered for the St. Mary’s Food Bank on weekends at his Mom’s house. In high school, he continued this by leading the Amnesty International club to stand up for human rights by hosting letter-signing campaigns and events when many were not willing to. After graduating from a predominantly White private high school, Zubin flew down to Atlanta to attend the illustrious historically Black college he currently matriculates through. At Morehouse, Zubin is the hub coordinator and founder of Sunrise Atlanta University Center, a youth environmentalism chapter of the Sunrise Movement, as well as one of the founding members and leaders of the Young Democratic Socialists of America Atlanta University Center Red Tigers, a socialist chapter that furthers the Black liberation struggle. He is also on the e-board for Counseling Humans in Life Lessons (C.H.I.L.L.), a peer counseling group that he joined after serving as a crisis hotline counselor for Teen Link in Seattle. As a member of Morehouse’s esteemed debate team, he is always ready for an argument. And as a poet, he has written a poem every day for approximately 274 days in a row. Zubin is always excited to continue learning and fighting for what is right in this world.