Linda Kennedy Fellowship in Advocacy
The Linda Kennedy Fellowship in Advocacy honors the late Linda Kennedy, Esq., a courageous and determined advocate for persons with disabilities and persons without housing. Linda was a champion for equal treatment of our clients and neighbors who struggle with homelessness. Her tireless work, particularly with people seeking to overcome barriers to housing and employment imposed by criminal records, had a significant impact in our community. Linda provided critical representation to our clients in their efforts to expunge arrest records and resolve collateral issues related to criminal records. Linda’s deeply caring manner with which she addressed the needs of each client was special.
Linda translated her knowledge of systemic challenges for our individual clients to advocate for systemic change. In the spring of 2007, she successfully advocated, in coalition with several other organizations, for legislation to require the State of Maryland to expunge evidence of any arrest where charges where never filed. With her efforts, this law eliminated a barrier to housing and employment for over 21,000 citizens of Maryland.
Linda also fought tirelessly to include homeless people as a recognized class under Maryland’s hate crime statute and pressed to expand our expungement law to minor offenses such as sleeping in a park or loitering, which have a disproportionate impact on people who are homeless.
The Linda Kennedy Fellowship in Advocacy provides a second- or third-year law student with an internship at HPRP to work on policy and systemic issues that promote an end to homelessness in Baltimore City and in Maryland. The selected Fellow is expected to work a minimum of twenty hours per week for ten weeks each semester and a $3,000 stipend is provided to the Fellow per semester.
This Year's Fellow
The 2019-2020 Linda Kennedy Fellow, Shanisha Forbes (right), is a second-year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. My interest in building with the HPRP staff and the communities that HPRP serves grew out of my desire to be a public interest attorney and assist individuals from marginalized communities with legal issues. Prior to joining HPRP as the Linda Kennedy Fellow, I interned at Community Service Society of New York in New York City, where I advocated for individuals who were discriminated against in receiving employment and housing opportunities because of their criminal record. I was also a mediator at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where I resolved a broad array of consumer complaint issued for vulnerable communities. For more on the Fellowship, read this fall 2015 Daily Record article, A Fellowship Legacy.
Ingrid Lofgren – 2009-2010 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
Peter Nicewicz – 2010-2011 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
Aaron DeGraffenreidt – 2011-2012 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
Spencer Hall – 2012-2013 (University of Baltimore School of Law)
Xheni Llaguri – 2013-2014 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
Brittany Favazza – 2014-2015 (University of Baltimore School of Law)
Mellissa View - 2015-2016 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
Noah Patton - 2016-2017 (University of Baltimore School of Law)
Meegan Smith - 2017-2018 (University of Baltimore School of Law)
Avatara Smith-Carrington - 2018-2019 (University of Maryland Carey School of Law)
How to Apply
A full fellowship description and instructions for applying will be available on our employment page when we are accepting applications from late spring through early summer of each year.