Haazim Amirali— born and raised in the San Fernando Valley—cultivated a deep interest in his community and public policy starting in high school with the California YMCA’s Youth and Government program. Three years later, he worked on Katie Hill’s congressional campaign and then in her office during the summer of 2019. One of the issues he helped address was the closing of the Aliso 1Canyon Gas Well, which had devastated his family/community in 2016. At UC Berkeley, Haazim double majored in History and Political Science, writing honor theses in both majors. On the UC Berkeley campus, Haazim dedicated countless hours to serving in student government. In 2019, he was elected to the ASUC Senate, where he worked to expand the campus’ pre-law resources, supported students in residential life, and built a more accessible ASUC. His office helped establish UC Berkeley’s first-ever campus-wide pre-law mentorship program, institutionalized town hall requirements for all ASUC elected-officials, and laid the foundations for a new career counselor to work specifically with students in the residential halls. As an Ismaili Muslim, Haazim often struggled to find his place in community advocacy spaces. However during the summer after his junior year, he had the transformative experience of working as a policy intern with Muslim Advocates. This experience solidified his goals in life and inspired his political science honor thesis which focuses on the electoral success of Muslims post-2016. In fall 2020, he worked as a research and communications intern with the nonprofit Jetpac, building his community organizing skills while also continuing to invest in building more Muslim electoral power. With the Gardner Fellowship, Haazim hopes to build on this advocacy and to fight for the civil rights of Muslims throughout America. He is excited to be mentored by and work alongside attorneys in the fight as he prepares for a public service career.
2021 John Gardner Fellow
Class of 2022