The Mixner LGBTQ+ Equal Rights Fellowship, in partnership with the CCNY LGBTQ+ Student Center, is a yearlong program for students leading the movement for LGBTQ+ rights and freedom. The fellowship is named for David Mixner, a lifelong political activist involved in the movements to end the Vietnam War, pass civil rights legislation, achieve nuclear disarmament, and create a humane, stigma-free, education-based and treatment-focused approach to the AIDS epidemic.
If you identify as LGBTQ+ or an ally AND want to work on LGBTQ+ rights, this is the program for you! Our workshops will introduce you to leaders in the equality movement who will share the experiences and strategies that have shaped their careers and achieved gains for us all. The fellowship enables you to intern at advocacy organizations such as Equality Now, GMHC, and SAGE. Alternatively, you might increase representation by joining an LGBTQ+ affinity group while interning at a corporation. The program is open to all CUNY students, not just those who attend CCNY.
The fellowship starts in the Fall semester each year. Applications will open in January 2024.
Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,500 for 300 internship hours based on a work schedule determined between the student and host organization. Internships are flexible, so you can work fewer hours if that’s what your schedule permits. Most fellows prefer to work during the summer but some fellows start their internships in the spring semester.
Accepted fellows will be connected to partner organizations based on their areas of interest and skills. We encourage fellows to use this opportunity to pursue internships that align with their career goals.
Applicants for the 2024-2025 fellowship:
Fellows will be required to attend monthly meetings each semester that introduce them to guest speakers and organizations working within the LGBTQ+ equal rights movement. In addition, they should attend meetings organized for Colin Powell School fellows and other relevant events.
Abigail Schwab (she/her) is a sophomore with an undecided major. She grew up on Long Island and came to CCNY and the Colin Powell School looking for new opportunities and a well-rounded education. She is interested in the arts, education, and fighting social injustices. She hopes to pursue a career in teaching art and making it accessible for all. Abigail is looking to use her art as a way in which to create social change and spread awareness to various issues, especially to fight for the LGBTQ+ community.
Gianna’s major is architecture and will be a second-year student during the 2023-2024 academic year. Gianna is Italian and Irish American and has identified as queer since they were thirteen years old, facing many challenges throughout her academic years due to their identity. Gianna was brought to CCNY because of its great architecture program as well as its affordability. Gianna was also drawn by the amount of diversity the school has, unlike many other Architecture schools researched. The Colin Powell School inspired Gianna to do more for their community as an activist and made them want to reach out to network with other LGBTQ+ organizations and people who fall under STEM. The issues that interest Gianna are the behaviors happening on our school’s campus. Gianna also wants to create more safe spaces, or “zones”, for students who identify as LGBTQ+. Professionally, they hope to raise more scholarships for LGBTQ+ individuals as well as provide more guidance to the professional world. Gianna loves to draw traditionally and design interior spaces for events and hope to include this in their future work here for CPS.
Jack Lehane is a first-generation Irish American studying Finance and Philosophy at Baruch College where he is currently enrolled as a sophomore. Since the beginning of his freshman year, Jack has had a keen interest in creating LGBTQIA+ resources and encouraging student-led organizing and activism on campus. Jack reinitiated GLASS, the LGBTQIA+ club on Baruch’s campus and is currently establishing a mentorship program within the organization. Moving forward, Jack aims to utilize his diverse skill set to work towards a better world for all LGBTQIA+ individuals, with a particular focus on empowering the particularly underrepresented populations within the larger community. He is a dedicated advocate for building equity and equality and is committed to making a positive impact within the organizations and communities of New York City and beyond. In addition to his commitment to activism, Jack has a strong interest in contemporary art. He recognizes the power of art as a tool for self-expression and often draws inspiration from a variety of artists and is constantly seeking out new perspectives and creative ideas.
Jacob is in his third year as a political science and communications student at Baruch College and Macaulay Honors College. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, he moved to New York City for school and the multitude of opportunities offered here. Jacob is a Vice Chair on the E-Board of Baruch GLASS (gender, love, and sexuality spectrum) and is passionate about fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in his personal and professional life. He enjoys exploring the city, doing makeup, and getting together with friends in his free time.
Julian Corrales is an ambitious student currently in their junior year at Baruch College studying marketing management with a minor in English. Julian was born in Colombia and moved to the United States with their family when they were young. Growing up, they witnessed the challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals face in society, which inspired them to become an advocate for this community. This led them to CCNY and CPS, where they are furthering their knowledge and skills in promoting LGBTQ+ rights. Julian hopes to use their marketing background to create campaigns that will raise awareness and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. In their free time, Julian enjoys practicing their creative skills through arts and crafts, reading, and taking care of plants.
Kamel Williams is a sophomore at CCNY majoring in Anthropology and Sociology. Kamel was born in Jamaica and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Yonkers. He has always been interested in languages, people and culture and hopes to explore the social and systematic oppression faced by marginalized groups on a global scale. Kamel hopes to use the resources to be gained from this fellowship to gain some experience and insight on ways in which he can use my knowledge, passion and talents to impact those around him. Kamel hopes to one day work with those seeking asylum to the U.S from around the world due to physical and verbal abuse endured on account of sexuality and gender identity.
Karen is a Biochemistry major at CCNY and is minoring in Math. She regularly educates her friends and family on topics of gender, sexuality and intersectionality of other identities. As a proud queer latina, Karen is interested in helping other queer Women of Color advocate for themselves and support others. The Mixner LGBTQ+ Equal Rights Fellowship grants her the opportunity to actively engage with her extended community. She is on the path to be a doctor, more specifically a surgeon, and intends to work mainly with disadvantaged communities. In her free time, she plays video games and takes care of her elderly dog, Mia. Her favorite game series are Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and Souls-like ones.
Mariah McCann is an undergraduate student currently studying psychology with an interest in addiction counseling, child development, and legal studies. She is a first-generation student who grew up in a small town in Arkansas before recently moving to NYC. Mariah transferred to CCNY because of the array of opportunities. She is passionate about social justice and hopes to help those that are suffering while educating people who are unaware or blind to current issues. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and listening to music.
Rayn Page Valleau is graduate student, queer poet, and advocate for lgbtqia+ rights, mental health, and the critical role of community. They are attending CCNY for their MFA in creative writing and founded a nonprofit support group titled Queer Writes with the mission of bringing the cathartic powers of poetry to their community. Queer Writes views writing as a catalyst towards healing, and connection as the beating heart of positive change. Rayn hopes to continue their activism and education while building a safer world for LGBTQIA+ youth and families. Rayn aspires to be a Creative Writing Professor, with a focus on Trans and Nonbinary poetics.
Riley Mercedes is a Psychology major. He is from the Dominican Republic and a first-generation college student. His first impression of CCNY was the architecture of the buildings. Riley is very passionate about trans rights and hopes to do research on trans medicine in the future. One of his favorite things to do is work out at the gym.
Subha is a senior at CCNY and a Macaulay Honors student. She is a Biology major and Pre-med student who hopes to become a gynecologist. Subha is interested in medical research and wants to contribute to better healthcare standards for women and the LGBTQ+ community. They want to learn different ways to contribute to these solutions through the Colin Powell School. Subha is currently involved in research with E. coli at The City College Center for Discovery and Innovation and enjoys learning about biology lab techniques. She is also the president of the Macaulay Queer Alliance and a fan of horror video games.
The City University of New York as the nation’s largest public university has been a driving force for equal access and economic opportunity since 1847. Our colleges, graduate, and professional institutions are comprised of students, faculty, staff, and allies that reflect the wealth of experiences, backgrounds, cultures, and diversity that define New York City. The David Mixner Fellowship is an opportunity to activate and invest in CUNY students and New York City’s LGBTQ+ community.
In June 2021, CUNY School of Law alum Jose Abrigo spoke with David Mixner to hear first-hand about his activism, career, movement building, and his hopes for the future.
David Mixner is an advocate and political organizer for LGBTQ2IA+ rights and a prominent leader international human rights and American politics. For over 40 years, he has led efforts to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS in the United States and improve access, prevention, and treatment across the globe. As executive producer of House on Fire, he documented the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the African American community. Mixner has raised over $30M for not-for-profit organizations and candidates running for political office, including over $1M for openly gay and lesbian candidates. Mixner’s papers and correspondence as a peace and civil rights activist from the Vietnam War to the AIDS Crisis to his participation in political campaigns are housed at the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University. He has co-written several screenplays: Dunes of Overveen (with Richard Burns) and Fire in the Soul and Jacob’s Ladder (with Dennis Bailey). He writes for Time, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and The Advocate, among other publications.
This project is in partnership with Mitchell Draizin, President of the CUNY LGBT Advisory Council, along with its 100+ members who aspire to connect CUNY students to New York City’s tremendous resources and opportunities for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. It is affiliated with the CUNY LGBTQI Student Leadership Program.