The Outstanding Scholar Award is given to applicants who we feel are utilizing their studies in promising ways, and show innovative and creative ideas for how they plan to build on their studies to bring healing and safety to our communities. Each Outstanding Scholar Award is given with a $150 honorarium.
JoAnne “Jo-Joe” Lee is pursuing her Master’s in Social Welfare with a concentration in Public Policy Practice within the Accelerated Policy Program from Columbia University. She recently became a recipient of the 2021-2022 Fisher Cummings Fellowship at Columbia University where she will be a Research and Policy Fellow for the US Department of Health and Human Services at the Office of Administration for Children and Families in the Office on Trafficking In Persons. She will work on policy surrounding human trafficking with a focus on MMIW+. She is a member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California and is from the Coyote Clan. Jo-Joe is currently a Program Coordinator at the California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) where she works with Tribes to promote self advocacy around land and water rights. She joined CIEA during her final semester at UC Berkeley where she served as the Executive Director of Indegenous and Native Recruitment and Retention Center and the Program Coordinator for the Native Student Development Office. During her undergraduate career, she participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior’s Fellow Program (PPIA) which is a program that has been grounded programmatically to empower and better address the needs of historically underrepresented communities. She aspires to be a lawyer and hopes to help Native Peoples at a policy and legal level to implement positive change in a system that has treated our sovereignties and autonomies unjustly.