Claudia was previously EJS’s third Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow. She started the one-year fellowship in the fall of 2008 after graduating in May from UCLA School of Law, where she served as vice president of the Student Bar Association and chair of the Inter-Org Senate.
While attending law school, Peña worked as the student coordinator of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative, which is a collaboration between UCLA’s Critical Race Studies and A New Way of Life, a non-profit organization in Watts, Calif., providing housing and reentry support to formerly incarcerated women and their children.
She was also an Academy Scholar for UCLA’s Law Fellows Program and was previously a legal intern for the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Lawyers for Human Rights, a law clerk for the firm of Moreno, Becerra & Casillas and a legal intern for the Badil Center for Refugee Rights in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Her work experience also includes serving as the interim director for student diversity programs at Mills College and as a youth advocate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Peña received her B.A. in Sociology from Mills College and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including: Hernandez Stern Scholarship, Foley Minority Scholarship, Morrison and Forrester Diversity Scholarship, Palladium Award at Mills College, Mills College Phenomenal Woman Award and Latinos Unidos Scholar.