Office of Student Success

Mixner LGBTQ+ Equal Rights Fellowship

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!

Program Contact

Director of Fellowship Programs & Office of Student Success

Debbie Cheng


Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,500 for 300 hours based on a work schedule determined between the student and host organization.

Professional Development

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 2022-2023 fellowship:

  • must be full-time undergraduate students
  • can be from any school/major and regardless of citizenship status
  • have no GPA requirement
  • must demonstrate interest in LGBTQ+ advocacy

Fellowship Meetings

Fellows will be required to attend three meetings— at the beginning, middle, and end of their fellowship terms. In addition, they should attend meetings organized for Colin Powell School fellows and other relevant events.

Application Questions

Please upload responses to the following questions through the application form. Write your name on all application materials.  

1. How do your educational and professional experiences so far shape your long-term interest in becoming an LGBTQIA+ advocate? Indicate if you have any experience working on LGBTQIA+ issues, whether through clubs, volunteer work, internships, etc. Describe your involvement, including any leadership positions held. If you do not have any prior experience, why do you want to gain some? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.  

2. How would you like to see your career develop over the next decade or two? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.  

3. List 5 organizations that you would like to apply to for your internship.  (Note: You can always change your mind later.)

2022-2023 Mixner LGBTQ+ Equal Rights Fellows

Arane Wilks

Arane Wilks is a political science major and minors in Legal Studies. She comes from a military background and moved from USAG Humphreys, South Korea. She chose CCNY due to its academic opportunities, lovely campus, room for advancement. She chose the Colin Powell School because it creates academic opportunities. She hopes to attend law school and major in business law. In her spare time she enjoys reading, thrifting, and watching TV.

Brian Edward (Blaze) Levario

Blaze Levario is a Mixner fellow who came back to school two years ago to pursue a further dream. They started out as a performer, and while they still perform throughout the country and the city, they wanted to use more of their skillset to help queer and LGBTQ+ youths and adults alike by opening their hearts and minds to the wonders of group and individual therapy. They are a firm believer that by meeting folks where they are at, you are more likely to connect to them and offer them a light where they may only see shadows. They are hoping to join a queer and sex affirming practice in the next several years, and in so doing also advocate for inclusive and comprehensive sex education across the NYC school system and eventually the country.

Josue Ramos Carpio

Josue is a sophomore at CCNY, majoring in Political Science and Sociology. He is from Mexico and grew up in the Bronx. He went to Xavier High School, where he founded a passion for starting conversations that were not typically talked about and begin his work in social justice his freshman year. He joined the CCNY community specifically for the Colin Powell School’s fellowship opportunities where he has been apart of the Social Change fellowship and is now part of the Mixner Fellowship. He enjoys reading, live music and hiking! Josue is excited in being part of the Inaugural group for the Mixner Fellowship.

Manfrer Espinal

Manfrer is an undergraduate student in the BA/MA CASAC program at City College. He joined this program because of his extreme urge to always try and help others. Manfrer looks forward to expanding his knowledge and skills, utilizing these experiences to aid his community. His main interests are working with substance use clients in the LGBTQ+ community, advocating for comprehensive guides to working with LGBTQ+ patients, expanding healthcare resources, and limiting biases and prejudices within the field of psychology.

Samir Malik

Samir is a second-year student at CCNY. His intended major is film/video production with a minor in history or international studies. He is a native New Yorker who comes from a first-generation Bangladeshi family. Samir is passionate about social advocacy, policy reform, and human rights. He likes to use creative expression to spread important messages and get people to start having meaningful conversations about issues.

Shantal Rodriguez

Shantal is in her second year with a major in Secondary English Education and minors in Psychology and Jewish studies. She is an Afro-Latina, a first-gen, and an NYC native. She came to CCNY for its fantastic education program and pursued this fellowship for the opportunity to remain involved in the fight for progress in human rights. She finds joy in the acquisition of learning and genuinely believe that passing on that knowledge is the most important job ever. Human rights and the role of equity in society are topics very close to her heart. Lastly, she loves to collect vinyls.