Aaron Samsel (’15) has been awarded a 2013 Peggy Browning Fund Fellowship, which provides law students with diverse, challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. Samsel will spend the fellowship working at CASA de Maryland in Silver Spring, MD, which aims to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families.
Texas-born and Virginia-raised, Samsel describes himself as a fighter for social justice with a long-term commitment to Southern movement building. As a student, he led a living wage campaign that won substantial salary increases for classified employees at a public university in VA. He has since trained at the Highlander Center in TN, worked as a human rights observer in Zapatista territory, Chiapas, Mexico, and after a number of years organizing for immigrant and labor rights in Virginia, was a founding collective member of the Wayside Center for Popular Education in Faber, VA. Samsel has an MA in socio-legal studies; his graduate research focused on Know Your Rights Trainings and the contradictions that emerge between organizing and lawyering strategies. “I am thrilled to have been selected for the Peggy Browning Fellowship. I am looking forward to the challenges, responsibilities and privileges that come with such an honor, and I know that this will propel me toward my future as a movement lawyer,” said Samsel.
The Peggy Browning Fund is a not-for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board from 1994 until 1997.