Meet Our Fellows
Carl Wilkens Fellows are selected through a rigorous application process based on their willingness, ability, and potential to become movement leaders in their own communities.
Area of Focus: Community Interaction/Cooperation, Congolese Genocide Awareness/Education
Location: Massachusetts, Southbridge
Originally from the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Anthony Kasongo is an activist and advocate of social justice and human rights. A proven leader in the areas of project management, technology and problem solving, Kasongo brings over 15 years of professional experience and leadership to Congolese Genocide Awareness (CGA) where he serves as the organization’s executive director. Kasongo also holds the positions of Information Technology
Area of Focus: Central/East Africa, conflict, human rights, Mass Atrocities Prevention, Peace Building, post-conflict, South Sudan, Sudan, transitional justice, U.S. foreign policy
Location: Washington D.C.
Mike Brand is a human rights, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding professional with over a decade of experience in policy, advocacy, organizing, and informal education. Throughout his career, Mike has worked for various NGOs in the US, Rwanda and South Sudan, and has done fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Mike supports civil society organizations and diaspora networks in developing and achieving
Area of Focus: Burma, U.S. foreign policy
Location: New York, Queens
Myra Dahgaypaw is the Policy Adviser/Interim Executive Director for U.S. Campaign for Burma. She is a Karen human rights activist from Karen State, Eastern Burma. She was an internally displaced person for about 12 years and a refugee for 17 years until she resettled to the United States. Myra has lost many family members and friends to the brutality of Burma’s military regime. Since
Area of Focus: Darfur, Holocaust Education, Prevention, South Sudan, Sudan
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Melanie Nelkin is a co-founder and current chair of The Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide (GC2PG). The GC2PG’s mission is to build a permanent anti-genocide constituency in Georgia. She was in the inaugural Carl Wilkens Fellowship Class in 2009, which connected her with a cohort of activists across the US with a focus on building tools for communities to prevent and end genocide. In
Area of Focus: Congo, violence against women
Location: Washington D.C.
Andalisa Lopez is a nonprofit professional working at a children’s literacy nonprofit in Washington, DC. She first learned about the Darfur genocide while in high school and has since been active in organizing for change. While at Muhlenberg College, Lopez engaged other students in dialogue about international human rights issues and advocated for change around the ongoing genocide in Darfur as well as the
Area of Focus: genocide education, media, women
Location: Cummington, Massachusetts
Barbara Baker is from Midwest. She is the first in her family to attend college and obtain a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate of education. Because of early experiences with abuses and equalities related to race, class, and gender, Barbara has passion for social justice activism that has inspired her career as an educator. She is currently employed at Berkshire Community as a
Area of Focus: Food security
Location: Sweden, Uppsala
Christie Nicoson is a human rights, gender equality, and climate justice advocate and researcher. Christie was a 2014 CWF, during which she focused on addressing issues of food security and climate change related to inequalities, mass atrocities, and conflict. Her previous work includes directing human rights political advocacy campaigns and genocide education at World Without Genocide, headquartered at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St.
Area of Focus: Lord's Resistance Army
Location: California, San Diego
Deanna Malmquist currently works for Invisible Children as In House Counsel and Director of Human Resources. She received her J.D. from California Western School of Law in San Diego, and graduated from Bethel University Minnesota with a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science. Prior to finding her way to Invisible Children, she worked at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with soldiers who
Area of Focus: Armenian Genocide Recognition
Location: Illinois, Skokie
Kelley Szany, Director of Education, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. With over fifteen years of experience, Szany is responsible for oversight of all educational initiatives and programs related to educational curricula, field trips, and student leadership programs for the 2nd largest Holocaust and human rights museum in the United States. She also oversees all public programming, teacher professional development, and trainings for all recruits and
Area of Focus: Holocaust Education
Location: Florida, Tampa
ln being a teacher of history, Larry Grimes became interested in the Holocaust about seven years ago while he traveled in Eastern Europe. He attended several workshops and seminars during the next several years. This is where his education began. He met Carl Wilkens and traveled to Rwanda twice with him. Grimes was an Alfred Lerner Fellow through the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous