Anjali Mishra, a second-year student at the University of Oregon, has earned campus-wide recognition as a top student leader and peer educator addressing issues of humanitarian and policy reform for vulnerable populations. Since high school she has progressively held youth and student leadership positions in national, regional, and local non-governmental organizations and community action agencies advocating for children, the unhoused, and the incarcerated experiencing multidimensional poverty. She currently serves as a Youth Justice Project intern with the Oregon Justice Resource Center performing legal and organizational research on youth and adult incarceration and community organizing to support staff with implementing Oregon Senate Bill 1008 for juvenile justice reform. The bill prohibits persons who were under 18 years of age at the time of committing an offense from being sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole. She shares her experiences and mobilizes student advocacy on campus as a peer educator through the development and delivery of co-curricular workshops and in-class exercises focusing on structural and institutional forms of oppression, racism, and inequity.
Giving every person the resources and opportunities they need to thrive has been at the forefront of my belief system since high school, when I first got involved in advocacy through UNICEF USA after witnessing the harrowing impacts of childhood poverty in my dad’s village in India. Since then, I have dedicated my work and academics to better understanding systems of inequality and how to dismantle them in order to promote justice and equity for society’s most vulnerable. Much of my campus and community work revolves around reducing inequality in the realms of race, education, and incarceration, focusing more specifically on issues that impact children and adolescents. I currently work with the Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, the UO SAIL program, the Oregon Justice Resource Center, and as a Provost Innovation Student Fellow to create resources that uplift a number of marginalized communities through innovation and political advocacy. I am interested in furthering my commitment to fighting inequality by pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Policy, which would allow me to engage with issues of inequality in a more nuanced fashion.