Recent Stanford graduate and 2019 Summer Human Rights Fellow Xóchitl Longstaff has won a Fulbright Award to work in Colombia. The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 by U.S. Congress was created to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges and is designed to give opportunities for personal and career development and international experience. During her year in Colombia, Xóchitl will investigate the attitudes and behaviors of physicians around the Gardasil vaccine in the wake of widespread misinformation about the vaccine being shared on social media and causing vaccination rates to decline.
Xóchitl earned her bachelors degree in BioEngineering with a minor in Spanish. Through a fellowship offered by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, this past summer she worked with the non-profit organization Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, Mexico, performing medical intakes, legal intakes, registration, and other duties. For 10 weeks at the border, she learned about asylum law and organizing nonprofits while working alongside a diverse group of activists, lawyers, human rights workers, retirees and others. "I think the most helpful contribution I made was being able to train new volunteers in every area of the work during the last half of the fellowship," she said.
"During her fellowship, Xóchitl navigated and processed the difficult nature of immigration advocacy at the border with with grace and thoughtfulness," said the Center's staff. "We're proud of her for earning a Fulbright Award, and we're excited for her to continue her passion for social justice in Colombia."
Xóchitl (far left) with colleagues during her fellowship