Minority Student Program (MSP) students at Rutgers Law School in Newark will have the chance to gain valuable experience during the summer at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ), thanks to the new Professor Alfred A. Slocum Social Justice Internship Fund, launched this year by Oliver Quinn RLAW ’75, chair of the Rutgers University–Newark Advisory Board, former MSP dean, and former member of the Board of NJISJ.
The two Slocum interns, Oleh Matviyishyn RLAW '22 and Damilola Onifade RLAW '21, were selected this week to spend the summer interacting with the range of advocacy tools available at the Institute, including research, analysis, legislative strategies, and litigation with the goal of creating just, vibrant, and healthy urban communities.
The students will participate in the Institute’s established summer program, which will provide meaningful research and education opportunities for the Slocum Scholars, who will finish the summer with a writing sample to help them obtain jobs after law school.
“We are very excited to welcome two Slocum interns to the Institute this summer, and deeply grateful to former Board Member Oliver Quinn and the Rutgers Minority Students Program for their generosity in creating this opportunity,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President & CEO of the NJISJ. “During these trying times, grooming a new generation of social justice advocates with legal backgrounds is more important than ever. The Slocum interns will have a summer of learning, advocacy and deep engagement with the Institute's economic justice, criminal justice reform, and democracy and justice work—even if virtually for some time. We hope this will be the first of many such opportunities.”
Originally from Lviv, Ukraine, Oleh Matviyishyn moved to the US with his family at age 6. In addition to MSP, Oleh participated in Student Bar Association, Rutgers International Law Society, and Slavic Law Students Association International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). He sees the opportunity to intern at NJISJ as practical experience on making institutional change. “One of my goals in life is to address issues in inequality and help towards wide institutional change. The goal of equality and equity for everyone is what makes the Institute worth interning for.”
Damilola Onifade was born in Nigeria and raised in Paterson, NJ. During her freshman year of college, she interned for her congressman, which affirmed her interest in law and policy. Her law school activities include participation in the Association of Black Law Students, Moot Court Board, and Business Law Review, in addition to MSP. Her desire is to learn to effectively advocate for the citizens of New Jersey, which she calls home. “As a law student, I have read the history of the laws and how they have progressed. But policy-based work is being cognizant of history and applying it to shape the future. I am eager to help shape the future of New Jersey.”
If you would like to contribute to the Slocum Social Justice Internship so that we can expand the number of available intern slots and provide internships to other social justice organizations, please donate at give.rutgers.edu/ASlocumSocialJusticeFund.