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Aspiring Attorney Wants to Advocate for Immigrants

January 2017

Mirabella NwakaAs the daughter of immigrants from Nigeria, Mirabella Nwaka, C’2017, has often questioned why the world is the way it is. Why are minorities, the poor and immigrants often left voiceless and marginalized in a society that often demonizes them for many of the society’s woes? The constant questioning prompted enlightening discussions in Spelman classrooms, such as the African Diaspora and the World class that first-year students take. The questions also led her to major in political science and resolve to make a difference.

“Spelman students, because they have been exposed to so many different things whether in class or through study abroad experiences, actually see injustices going on in the world. Once people know, they want to work toward fixing it,” said Nwaka.

Her trip to Rome, Italy, with the Spelman College Model United Nations, also helped broaden her global outlook.

“That was the first time I left the United States, and that experience opened my eyes to the world around me,” said Nwaka, who grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

“It made me want to pursue a future career that has a more global perspective.” She has further explored her interests in addressing injustices through internships with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta and with U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Maryland).

After earning a law degree, she plans to advocate for marginalized people in her community through pro bono work or starting a nonprofit that provides legal assistance to low-income immigrants.

“As a daughter of immigrants, I think it’s important to protect immigrants, whether they come here as refugees or for work,” she said.

“Everyone, as long as you are in this country, deserves access to basic needs. I feel that if I don’t fight for them, who will?”

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