Sagaree Jain

2017 to 2018
Human Rights Watch
Placement Location:
New York City
Service Interest:
Women’s Human Rights in South Asia
History minor English
Cupertino, CA

Berkeley experience:

Sagaree spent her years in Berkeley learning about gender, race, and postcoloniality, in her academics and in her organizing work. She taught a DeCal on Women’s Literature in order to encourage critical media consumption, served on the ASUC Sexual Violence Commission, and worked as a Research Assistant with the Center for the Politics of Development. In the summer of 2015, as part of the TATA Social internship, she was awarded a grant to work in Pune, Maharashtra, conducting impact analysis for women’s empowerment and employability programs. Meanwhile, in her degree in History, she studied South Asia, gender, violence, and health, writing an original thesis on the history of family planning in India in the 1960’s and securing grants from the Department of History and the Center for Race and Gender to conduct archival research. At the close of her Berkeley experience, she traveled with the UCDC program to live in Washington, D.C. and intern in civil rights and immigration justice. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with honors, in History.

Other service experience:

Sagaree is an educator, advocate, and organizer. She served as the Co-Director of CalSLAM Poetry, creating spaces for creative expression and healing. She is certified as a domestic violence advocate and volunteers with the Oakland based South Asian women’s shelter Narika. She taught, mentored, and tutored first generation high school students as a Teacher’s Assistant for the Mills Upward Bound college preparedness program. In her last year at Berkeley, as a Bay Area Solidarity Summer alumni, she co- founded the group South Asians for Social Justice, organizing an event series, a staff of 6 people, and a community of South Asians interested in social and racial justice. Sagaree has been blessed to learn, create, write, and teach in the transformative communities she found at Berkeley.

Fellowship goal:

In her Gardner fellowship, Sagaree hopes to expand on her experiences in research into women’s human rights in South Asia, particularly in reproductive justice.
Post Fellowship plans: Sagaree dreams of working as a researcher on women’s issues in South Asia. After her Gardner year, she plans to spend a year living in India, and return to school for a PhD in Anthropology.

Commitment to Public Service:

“I envision a more peaceful world, free of the violence, coercion, and fear that underpins so many social hierarchies. In service, guided by a love for ourselves and our communities, we build that world over and over again. That world is where we heal.”


Photo by flickr user ActionAid India is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Sagaree Jain, John Gardner Fellows
In July of 2017, a month and a half before I started the John Gardner Fellowship with a placement at Human Rights Watch, I went to a teach-in held by Dalit rights activist Thenmozhi Soundararajan. I attended as part of the group Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), a community group I...