Megan Majd

2014 to 2015
Placement:
Natural Resources Defense Council
Placement Location:
New York City
Mentor:
Kit Kennedy (Clean Energy Counsel, Energy & Transportation Program) and Jake Schmidt (International Climate Policy Director)
Service Interest:
Environmental policy and human rights
Major:
Interdisciplinary Studies, focused on Human Rights and Environmental Policy
Hometown:
Malibu, CA

Berkeley Experience: Megan started volunteering for CALPIRG during her first semester at UC Berkeley, which launched her passion in environmental justice, the intersection between the deterioration of the environment and the welfare of people. Megan worked on an environmental justice campaign when she first joined CALPIRG, focused on passing legislation that would reduce air pollution at the Port of Oakland. Soon, Megan was organizing a new campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in Alameda County. Through these experiences, she realized the importance of utilizing a global vision of environmental justice on a local scale to create local solutions to global, systemic problems.

In her junior year, Megan was elected as a senator to the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). She represented 37,000 students and managed a Senate Contingency Fund of $24,000. As an ASUC Senator, Megan helped form campus policy through negotiations with administrators, the ASUC senate, and the student body, including co-authoring a bill to reform UC Berkeley’s sexual assault policies.

Other Service Experience: Megan spent three months in 2013 in Biolley, Costa Rica studying human rights focused on gender and conservation issues at the local level. She lived with a group of women whose lives were focused on empowering women running a coffee plantation and protecting the national park they bordered. Megan is currently the curator of a website aimed at creating a comprehensive list of resources for survivors of sexual assault at UC Berkeley.

Fellowship Goal: Megan’s internship goal is to change the culture around how people see issues related to environmental justice, by finding innovative ways to educate people and to change the systems that perpetuate problems associated with environmental justice through systematic policy change.

Postfellowship Plans: When the fellowship concludes, Megan would like to continue work providing community-based research for programs focused on issues related to environmental justice, as well as lead a nonprofit dedicated to systematic change.

Commitment to Service: “My dedication to public service has allowed me to empower others, to become a bridge between students and bureaucracy, between victims and justice.”