Evelyn Pedraza Fernandez

University of San Francisco

Evelyn Pedraza Fernandez, a third-year student at the University of San Francisco, is a campus leader working towards social justice impacting immigrant and undocumented families. She participated in the year-long Esther-Madriz Diversity Scholars Program (EMDS), focusing on social justice and community organizing in the sociological framework of hip hop. Through EMDS, she interned at Tenants Together, a 24/7-hour crisis hotline that defends the rights of California tenants to safe, fair, and affordable housing. She is currently a Resident Advisor, overseeing 400+ first-year residents—serving as liaison to campus resources, managing crisis de-escalation, and conducting wellness checks. Evelyn serves as a Community Empowerment Activist, acquiring the skills of grassroots organizing while interning with the People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Justice (PODER). PODER, a grassroots organization works to create people-led solutions to environmental and economic inequities facing low-income Latino immigrants. In summer 2020, Evelyn will be a McCarthy Fellow in Sacramento, living, working, and learning at the state’s capital—conducting legislative research within the systems that shape policy. Evelyn has committed to be an agent of change through grassroots organizing, community building, and implementing policy change that serves the people.

Rev. Paul Fitzgerald
University President
University of San Francisco

Personal Statement

I am the daughter of a low-income, immigrant and single mother growing up in an affluent city.
Since I was young, I knew that I wanted to help people because I do not want others to feel their struggles are their fault. When I arrived at USF, the emphasis on social justice, inequality, and advancing change in the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars program motivated me to apply. There, I was able to intern as a hotline crisis counselor with Tenants Together. Hearing and sharing guidance with callers afraid of housing instability was a humbling and enriching experience for me. Now, I am a Community Empowerment Activist, learning how to organize and build advocacy in solidarity with the community through PODER. We have been preparing the community for the 2020 Census by hosting educational and computer literacy workshops. We want the community to receive necessary funding, which stems the Census report. Next summer, I will be a McCarthy Fellow in Sacramento working at the state’s capital to understand how politics relates to community organizing to respond to the needs and lived experiences of the people being served.

Evelyn Pedraza Fernandez
Sociology / PSCE (minor): Class of 2021
written 2020

2020 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Alexander Kaye, U. of Central Florida Miyako Iwata, UC Berkeley M. Chiamaka Okonkwo, UNC Charlotte Noelia Michelle Flores González, Universidad de Monterrey Ashlyn Woods, University of Baltimore Greta Hacker, University of Central Arkansas Christian Coleman, University of Central Oklahoma Hailey Ettinger, University of Colorado Boulder Michael Hernández, University of Connecticut Claire Sullivan, University of Dayton Maggie Nelson, University of Delaware Tarun Ramesh, University of Georgia Gregoria Uroza, University of Houston-Downtown Wasan Kumar, University of Illinois at Chicago Kaitlyn Meyr, University of Kentucky Ana Benitez, University of La Verne Amanda Gardner, University of Maine at Augusta Stephanie Turcios, University of Mary Washington Nihira Mugamba, University of Maryland, Baltimore County(UMBC) Maggie Sullivan, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Danelia Ramirez Aguilar, University of Massachusetts Lowell Jendayi London, University of Miami Meredith Days, University of Michigan Lucy Grimshaw, University of Missouri – St. Louis Kortney Sims, University of Montana Dinesh Karki, University of Nebraska Omaha Alexandra Vergara, University of New Hampshire Keyri Ambrocio, University of New Haven Aryelle Jacobsen, University of North Carolina Asheville Katherine Torres, University of North Georgia Yarik Molina, University of North Texas at Dallas Cole Passick, University of Northern Iowa Evan McKenna, University of Notre Dame Justin Norris, University of Oklahoma Nisha Sridhar, University of Oregon Oluwatomisin Oyedele, University of Pennsylvania Stephanie Rose, University of Pittsburgh TJ Tann, University of Richmond Ana Trejo Aguilar, University of San Diego Evelyn Pedraza Fernandez, University of San Francisco Imani Sherrills, University of South Carolina Beaufort Patrick Mack, University of South Carolina Upstate Reylan Cook, University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC Tyus Edmond, University of St Thomas Amber Heidenreich, University of Wisconsin - Superior Shehrose Charania, University of Wisconsin-Madison Tavyonia Davis, University of Wisconsin-Parkside Trenton Ebel, UW Green Bay
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