We asked our two interns this summer a few questions about their time "here" working with us during the pandemic.
What projects are you working on?
The main task that was assigned to me was to work on an Indian Education for All Project. My primary role is to analyze data that the ACLU of Montana received from the Office of Public Instruction and determine the extent to which different schools in Montana are incorporating Indian cultural practices into the curriculum as required by the law. I am also helping with the discovery process on two major cases that ACLU is working on, one is on promoting the voting rights of Native Americans in Montana, and the other one is a discrimination claim against US Customs and Border Protection.
What do you find valuable about your internship?
I am extraordinarily appreciative of the timeliness and importance of the work I am currently doing, which cannot be overstated. A lot is going on around the world right now, the unprecedented harm inflicted upon the entire world by COVID-19, and the ongoing fight for social and racial justice, has heightened the importance of human rights. Working with ACLU at this moment has fulfilled my longstanding desire to contribute towards the attainment of racial and social justice, as ACLU’s projects are always dedicated to the advancement of justice for all.
What has been exciting?
While working online isn’t the most preferred arrangement, this experience has been the most rewarding and exciting for me. Precisely, my time management skills have since immensely improved. Not working under the watchful eye of a supervisor, but still being able to deliver has instilled and reinforced the sense of self-discipline.
What's the funniest zoom call you've been on?
Actually, today, when Liliana, the other intern I’m working with, said she spent the weekend helping a friend move, which is coincidentally the same thing I was doing here in Tucson over the weekend :).
What has been hardest/easiest about being remote due to COVID?
Having the autonomy to decide when I can carry out an assigned task has been the easiest things about working remotely. However, knowing that I wont be able to be physically present at the ACLU Montana offices to meet all the staff in person was a hard pill to swallow!
Leonard Mukosi is a Zimbabwean student pursuing a doctoral degree in law at the University of Arizona. He also holds a master of laws (LLM) degree from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of laws from Rhodes University, South Africa. Leo’s area of interest is international law and Indigenous people’s rights. He has worked with different organizations including the Center for World Indigenous Studies and the Michigan Indian Legal Services in promoting the rights of Indigenous people both in Africa and the Americas.