Faber is pleased to announce Molly Gordon as the third recipient of their two-year Faber Fellowship, in partnership with Equal Justice Works (EJW). Gordon’s fellowship will begin in Fall 2022. A recent graduate of UCLA, she will be working with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to help increase housing stability for renters who have been subject to unfair rent debt collecting practices as a result of the pandemic.
Her project will focus on the low-income renters who, throughout the course of the pandemic, fell behind on rent through no fault of their own. Gordon will represent tenants who have been sued for alleged rent debt or have had debt referred to collection agencies as well as bring claims under federal consumer protection statuses against landlords and debt buyers engaging in abusive practices. Additionally, she will help renters understand their rights to dispute inaccurate credit reporting. She will also work in coalition with housing advocacy groups for state and local policy solutions to the rent debt crisis in Louisiana.
Over the past 5 years, Faber has partnered with EJW to provide fellowship opportunities to two other equal justice seekers, Jen Rasay and Madeline Middlebrooks, who both created impactful change to the communities they served.
Rasay, through her dedicated efforts alongside the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, was able to put forward a lawsuit which resulted in the removal of a harmful work requirement program in New Hampshire which had previously limited access for people who rely on Medicaid. Her efforts surrounding Medicaid work requirements benefitted almost 500,000 individuals who rely on Medicaid in the state, and who would have been disenrolled had the requirements taken place. In addition to her work relating to Medicaid work requirements, Rasay also fought make sure people with disabilities were able to access the services that they need.
Middlebrooks has also had great success throughout her fellowship which revolves around addressing the lead contamination water crisis in St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) in partnership with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. Due to her efforts, Middlebrooks has been able to help launch a community coalition which seeks to remediate the lead contamination crisis. Middlebrooks and the coalition were able to initiate a state-wide campaign focused on the crisis and draft and file an original bill that encompasses concerns unique to Missouri. The bill will require that all schools in Missouri test their water for lead, as well as remediate as necessary, and additionally it means that school districts that qualify as “disadvantaged school districts,” like SLPS, will receive priority funding.
Faber is incredibly proud to have been able to support Rasay, and Middlebrooks in their endeavors, and looks forward to supporting Gordon in her pursuit of equal justice as well.